cover image Going to the Zoo

Going to the Zoo

Tom Paxton. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13800-4

Schmidt's sprightly watercolor and gouache illustrations lend a jaunty air to one of folksinger Paxton's best-known songs. Whimsical foreshadowing on the opening page quickly sets the stage for fun: readers see a family celebrating their coming trip while a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed menagerie peeks over the scene's border. With each turn of the page, the furred and feathered spies get their turn in the limelight (""See all the monkeys scritch, scritch, scratchin' ""; ""Big black bear is a-huff, huff, a-puffin' ""). The toe-tapping text is knit together visually with depictions of the knobby-kneed zookeeper, resplendent in her uniform and cleats, seen tending to her prankish charges on every spread. Awash with sunny charm, the book could inspire an audience to break out in song; happily, the endpapers contain the musical score. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)