cover image Zoo Song

Zoo Song

Barbara Bottner. Scholastic, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-41005-2

Gertrude the hippo, Herman the lion and Fabio the bear are producing conflicting noises and all manner of disruption in the zoo. Good neighbors they're not: Gertrude's singing is not music to Herman's earshe cries, bangs against the door, throws things at her for distraction, but on she goes, hitting those high notes. Fabio, though quiet, sulks in his cell and is forced to participate in the conflict. Things change when Herman fights back with a violin and Fabio with dancing shoes; all at once the trio find themselves in harmony. Although a replay of an old song, Bottner's moral tale is light, and readers will harken to it. And Munsinger is well in tune with the text, with her sketched-in-crayon animals who give their colorful performances and rid themselves of unanimal-like symptoms of very human afflictions. Ages 5-8. (August)