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The Zoo: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about the zoo?

The Zoo is a fascinating place! To see the real life, exotic animals that you only read about in books is a one of a kind experience. Because these animals are so intriguing, reading about them before or after your trip to the zoo will be one fun adventure.

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The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate & illustrated by Patricia Castelao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Soon to be a major motion picture! This Harper Classic edition of the Newbery Medal winner and #1 New York Times bestseller includes an author’s note, a letter from the real Ivan’s caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, Ivan’s “signature,” discussion questions, and more. This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes. In the tradition of timeless classics such as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Katherine Applegate’s novel blends humor and poignancy to create this incredible tale of friendship, art, and hope. The One and Only Ivan was named to multiple state lists, received three starred reviews, and was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon. Plus don’t miss Katherine Applegate’s Endling series!

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year and the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. This title has Common Core connections.

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Cubs in the Tub: The True Story of the Bronx Zoo's First Woman Zookeeper
Written by Candace Fleming & illustrated by Julie Downing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fred and Helen Martini longed for a baby, and they ended up with dozens of lion and tiger cubs! Snuggle up to this purr-fect read aloud about the Bronx Zoo’s first female zoo-keeper.

When Bronx Zoo-keeper Fred brought home a lion cub, Helen Martini instantly embraced it. The cub’s mother lost the instinct to care for him. “Just do for him what you would do with a human baby,” Fred suggested…and she did. Helen named him MacArthur, and fed him milk from a bottle and cooed him to sleep in a crib.

Soon enough, MacArthur was not the only cub bathed in the tub! The couple continues to raise lion and tiger cubs as their own, until they are old enough to return them to zoos. Helen becomes the first female zookeeper at the Bronx zoo, the keeper of the nursery.

This is a terrific non-fiction book to read aloud while snuggling up with your cubs! Filled with adorable baby cats, this is a story about love, dedication, and a new kind of family.

Gorgeously patterned illustrations by Julie Downing detail the in-home nursery and a warm pallet creates a cozy pairing with Candace Fleming’s lovely language.

Backmatter includes a short biography of Helen Martini and a selected bibliography.

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

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Belly Up
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

12 year old Theodore Teddy Roosevelt Fitzroy has got a murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. Henry, the hippopatamus at the brand-new nationally known FunJungle, has gone belly up. Even though it’s claimed he died of natural causes, Teddy smells something fishy and it sure ain’t the polar bear’s lunch. Dealing with the zoo’s top brass proves to be nothing but a waste of time. They want to see any trace of Henry’s death disappear like yesterday’s paper. So Teddy sets out to find the truth. With the help of Summer McCraken, a fiesty girl with secrets of her own, the two narrow down their prime suspects. Is it Martin Del Gato, FunJungle’s head of operations who hates kids and hates animals even more? Or J.J McCraken, the owner of FunJungle and and hates animals even more? Or J.J McCraken, the owner of FunJungle and Summer’s father, who has more concern for the dough he’s raking in than the animals in the zoo? As their investigation goes on, Teddy gets squeezed on all sides to quit asking questions or Henry won’t be the only animal in the zoo to turn up dead. The deeper Teddy and Summer get, they had better make sure they want to know what they want to know because when it comes to hippo homicide, the truth can’t be kept in a cage!

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Sammy the Seal
Written & illustrated by Syd Hoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sammy, the adventurous seal, leaves the zoo for the day and ventures into the big, busy city. Along the way he finds a school full of kids and new things to do–and he even learns to read! This classic Level One I Can Read is perfect for shared reading with a child. Whether shared at home or in a classroom, the short sentences, familiar words, and simple concepts of Level One books support success for children eager to start reading on their own.Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff, author of Danny and the Dinosaur, is a special paper-over-board commemorative edition of celebrating the 60th anniversary of I Can Read books for beginning readers. Eight bonus pages recount I Can Read’s history, including a time line, never-before-seen sketches, and origin stories of beloved I Can Read characters. This beautiful edition is perfect for gift-giving.

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  • Sealed with a Kiss - What’s a seal to do when she’s new to the zoo? Make new friends, of course! But when the other animals aren’t so friendly, a wise sparrow inspires them to surprise Seal with a special treat. Full of heart and humor, this story of friendship and forgiveness from bestselling author Beth Ferry and illustrator Olivier Tallec will have little ones giggling along, and it makes for a fun Valentine’s Day gift!

  • Ellie - The zoo is closing! Ellie and her friends want to save their home, but Ellie’s just a baby elephant, and she doesn’t know what she can do to help. While the other animals are busy working, Ellie finds a brush and some paints, and gives the zoo a big splash of color! Will her bright new talent be enough to keep the zoo’s gates open for good?

  • Pat the Zoo - A fun and exciting touch-and-feel book featuring one of the best-selling children’s book characters of all time - Pat the Bunny! Pat the Bunny has been creating special first-time moments between parents and their children for over 75 years. This engaging touch-and-feel book takes babies on a playful trip to the zoo where they can pet animals like lions, pandas, turtles, and more, all the while making cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Put Me in the Zoo - Spot believes he deserves to be in the zoo with the other amazing animals. In this Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss, Spot shows two young friends all the exciting things he can do with his spots. From changing their color and juggling them to moving them onto everything around him, you won’t believe what Spot can do. Beginning readers will be delighted by Robert Lopshire’s lively tale that proves there is a special spot for everyone. Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

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Old Macdonald Had A... Zoo?
Written & illustrated by Iza Trapani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

An extended retelling of the classic children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” by beloved author/illustrator Iza Trapani featuring zoo animals running amok on the farmstead.

Iza Trapani is known for her clever twists on classic nursery rhymes. This time she outdoes herself with a vist to longtime favorite Old MacDonald. His busy little farm–with a moo, moo here and a moo, moo there is out of controwhen zoo animals like kangaroos, elephants, and hippos join the menagerie. What’s a farmer to do? Iza Trapani’s hilarious, jam-packed illustrations are full of details animal-loving readers will point at with glee. And the sweet ending will keep them giggling until the next reading.

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Baby's First Bank Heist
Written by Jim Whalley & illustrated by Stephen Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Move over, Bonnie and Clyde, because there’s a new criminal mastermind in town . . . Baby Frank! Baby Frank is dangerously cute, and he’s about to pull off the most daring baby bank heist ever. Why? His parents say that he can’t have a pet—“pets are for older kids,” “be happy with your teddy,” and “they cost too much to keep,” they say. What’s a baby to do . . . ? Rob a bank, of course! You have been warned . . . With eye-catching illustrations from Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins, this laugh-out-loud rhyming text is Boss Baby meets Mission Impossible.

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Ida, Always
Written by Caron Levis & illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots.

Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

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Dear Zoo
Written & illustrated by Rod Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982.

Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

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My Heart Is Like a Zoo
Written & illustrated by Michael Hall
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
LOVE this book! First off, it includes animals that are less commonly used in books. Second, all of the illustrations use hearts in creating their shapes! Third, the similes on each page are tender and sweet!
Thoughts from The Goodfather
While it's the creativity of the illustrations of zoo animals that really makes this a great addition to a young reader's library, the text is also smart and wraps up very well with a clever ending that ties the whole book together.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The New York Times bestseller My Heart Is Like a Zoo features bright colors, simple sentences, playful animals, and more than 300 hearts for children to count and enjoy. Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick says, “Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love.”

This board book edition of the award-winning picture book is perfect for little hands and the very youngest readers, who will learn that a heart can be hopeful, silly, happy, rugged, snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and author-artist Michael Hall captures each one with his bold, graphic artwork. An ideal springboard for conversations about emotions, and for introducing concepts, math, and art projects in the classroom and at home. School Library Journal called it an “outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing.”

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  • Penguin Cha-Cha - Penguins are dancing in their cove, and a young girl is determined to join in the fun.

  • Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles - Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school! When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

  • Xander's Panda Party - Xander’s plan to host a panda party falls through, since he is the only panda at the zoo, but when he extends the invitation to all the bears, complications ensue. Includes an author’s note about the international effort to save pandas from extinction.

  • Look - Look! It’s a book! Starring a brother and sister who go to the zoo, see kangaroos and baboons, and get to bring home balloons! Told entirely in words that contain a double o, this playful story is a great choice for emerging readers. Bright illustrations and an engaging, interactive text will invite repeated readings. Hooray! A brother and sister can’t wait to go to the zoo, where they have an exciting day ahead full of food, balloons, baboons, and so much more. This playful concept-and-story book is ideal for new readers. Author-illustrator Fiona Woodcock’s spare text uses only words containing double o’s, an important concept for early literacy. Each word is cleverly woven into stunning illustrations. And it all ends with a bedtime book, of course. Good night!

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Sloth Slept on
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Who’s that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search–never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that’s fled the zoo–they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it’s in for a BIG surprise!

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Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Written by Bill Martin & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

What will you hear when you read this book to a preschool child? Lots of noise! Children will chant the rhythmic words. They’ll make the sounds the animals make. And they’ll pretend to be the zoo animals featured in the book– look at the last page! Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle are two of the most respected names in children’s education and children’s illustrations. This collaboration, their first since the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (published more than thirty years ago and still a best-seller) shows two masters at their best. A Redbook Children’s Picture Book Award winner The rollicking companion to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

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Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Written by Sally M. Walker & illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Who could care for a bear?

When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I.

Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot.

But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away – the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie – he could care for this bear too!

Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

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Amelia Bedelia Goes Wild!
Written by Herman Parish & illustrated by Lynne Avril
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Amelia Bedelia, America’s favorite housekeeper, had a childhood full of surprises, mischief, and hilarious misunderstandings. In this illustrated chapter book adventure, just right for fans of Judy Moody and Ivy + Bean, young Amelia Bedelia and her friends build a zoo in the backyard (complete with stuffed animals and attractions) and offer safari adventures to the entire neighborhood. This is the fourth book in the nationally bestselling Amelia Bedelia chapter book series, and it is just right for newly independent readers ready for a more challenging vocabulary and books with chapters.Amelia Bedelia takes everything literally, and that leads to all kinds of silly misunderstandings. The bestselling and beloved housekeeper has been making readers laugh for more than fifty years. Amelia Bedelia has a warm and positive attitude, and she has fun with language, vocabulary, and idioms. The Amelia Bedelia chapter books feature short, easy-to-read chapters, illustrations throughout, and Amelia Bedelia’s can-do spirit. This is the fourth book in the chapter book series featuring the childhood of America’s favorite housekeeper. The first book is called Amelia Bedelia Means Business, the second book is Amelia Bedelia Unleashed, and the third book is called Amelia Bedelia Road Trip!–and you don’t have to read them in series order to enjoy them.

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Edward the Emu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tired of his life as an emu, Edward decides to try being something else for a change. He tries swimming with the seals. He spends a day lounging with the lions. He even does a stint slithering with the snakes. But Edward soon discovers that being an emu may be the best thing after all. And so he returns to his pen, only to find a big surprise awaiting him…

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  • Secrets and Shadows - What Secrets Are Hiding in the Shadows?Noah and his friends thought they had seen it all during their first journey into the Secret Zoo–but it was only the beginning. Now they must train to become Crossers, members of a secret society who freely travel to the Secret Zoo and back, helping to defend its borders. But now that the monstrous sasquatches are on the loose and the evil Shadowist is plotting destruction, will Noah, Megan, Ella, and Richie have what it takes to survive?

  • A Thief at the National Zoo - KC and Marshall investigate the theft of a precious emerald, brought by representatives of the Chinese government to bring luck to two baby tigers born at the National Zoo.

  • Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla - In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla. Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact. This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

  • Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator - Claude is the story of the California Academy of Sciences’ beloved albino alligator, from his birth in Louisiana to his present day life in his swamp at the Academy. Claude is a celebrity alligator and the mascot for San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. His story started almost 25 years ago in Louisiana, where he hatched out of his egg to discover he looked different from the other hatchlings. They were green and Claude was white. The other hatchings avoided him, and his color made him vulnerable to predators. So Claude went to a special zoo that cared for alligators where he lived in a pen by himself. Now he was safe–but alone. One day, scientists at the California Academy of Sciences heard about him and asked the zoo if he could come and live in the Academy’s swamp. He made a 2,800 mile journey to his new home, where he had a surprise–he would share his swamp with Bonnie, an alligator who the scientists hoped would be a friend for Claude. Unfortunately, Bonnie didn’t like Claude’s differences either, so she was moved to another home. But then Claude was alone again–or was he? With Bonnie gone, Claude began to interact with the five enormous snapping turtles who shared his swamp. The turtles didn’t mind at all that Claude was different! And neither do the millions of people who visit him every year. They know that Claude’s differences are exactly what makes him special. Claude includes back matter with answers to frequently asked questions about the famous alligator, including information about albinism in animals.

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Good Night, Gorilla
Written & illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
What can you say about such a beloved classic? It's humorous and doesn't spell every little thing out, but provides just enough clues that my 2.5-year-old was able to piece together what was happening. As we've read it several times over, he enjoys pointing out how the gorilla is going to help the other animals from their cages.
Thoughts from Grammy
With spare text and rich illustrations, Peggy Rathman walks us through the zookeeper's bidding the animals at the zoo goodnight. There are many funny details to seek and find on each page. The clever ending contains a bit of irony; So many toddlers take a favorite stuffy to bed, why not a gorilla?
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A must-have board book for all babies.

Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant.

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena.

Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

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1, 2, 3 to the Zoo
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Each car on the train has one more zoo animal than the one before, from the first car with an elephant to the last with ten birds.

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The Elephant's Girl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A magical adventure about a girl with a mysterious connection with the elephant who saved her life, for fans of Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Holm. An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can’t remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear. Now that she’s twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind’s protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah’s message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is–and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.

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Down by the Station
Written & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

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The Opposite Zoo
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!

The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .

Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a simple text, The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites.

Praise for Il Sung Na:

“Il Sung Na’s illustrative art is so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.” —The Boston Globe (A Book of Babies)

“[A] grand read-aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred (Welcome Home, Bear)

“It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred (A Book of Sleep)

“Vibrant [and] whimsical.” —School Library Journal, Starred (Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit)

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  • Captain Awesome and the Missing Elephants - Captain Awesome and his superhero pals must foil dastardly distractions at the zoo in this animal adventure. Sunnyview Elementary School is off to the zoo! Meanie Meredith is head over heels for the pink flamingos (even though they are the most evil color ever), and Eugene can’t wait to see the elephants. Unfortunately, they seem to be missing. Once again, it’s up to Captain Awesome and his superhero pals to fight evil (MI-TEE!) and see past the diversionary tactics of their tour guide in order to find and rescue the most awesome animal in the park. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Captain Awesome chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  • Curious George Visits the Zoo -

  • Curious George Goes to the Zoo - The zoo is the perfect place for a curious little monkey to make mischief and new friends! George is going to visit a new kind of zoo where the animals all roam free. Some of those animals look like a lot of fun–so much fun that a curious monkey can’t resist joining them. Giraffes and flamingos are close enough to touch, but George befriends a baby rhino who seems a little sad. Who better to lure her from her hiding place than George? And just in time for her special birthday party!

  • Lion Down - Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth when a lion is falsely accused of killing a distinguished dog in the latest novel in New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series. For once, operations at the enormous zoo/theme park appear to be running smoothly (except for the occasional herring-related mishap in the penguin exhibit) and Teddy Fitzroy is finally able to give detective work a rest. But then a local lion is accused of killing a famous dog—and the dog’s owner, an inflammatory radio host, goes on a crusade to have the cat declared a nuisance so it can be hunted. But it looks like the lion might have been framed, and a renegade animal activist wants Teddy and Summer to help prove it. Soon, Teddy finds himself wrapped up in the middle of his most bizarre, hilarious, and dangerous case yet.

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Big Game
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident zoo sleuth when a rhinoceros is at risk in Big Game, a companion to Belly Up and Poached–which Kirkus Reviews called a “thrill-ride of a mystery.” When someone takes aim at Rhonda Rhino, FunJungle’s pregnant (and endangered) Asian greater one-horned rhinoceros, the zoo steps up security measures in order to protect this rare animal and her baby. But the extra security isn’t enough–someone is still getting too close for comfort. Teddy and company start to suspect that whoever is after Rhonda is really after her horn, which is worth a lot of money on the black market. For the first time ever, the head of the zoo enlists Teddy for help–for once, he doesn’t have to sneak around in order to investigate–and the results are even more wacky, and even more dangerous, than ever before.

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The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There once was a small green chameleon that wished to be handsome like a flamingo, smart like a fox, and funny like a seal. But with each transformation in size, shape, and color, the chameleon learns that maybe being yourself is best of all!

The Mixed-Up Chameleon is sure to delight little readers with its interactive art, funny antics, and heartwarming message.

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The One and Only Bob
Written by Katherine Applegate
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

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Poached
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery–this time it’s a koala caper–in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.” School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry. Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit. Teddy didn’t commit the crime–but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper.

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Can You Find My Shoe?: A Zoo Adventure for Ages 3-7
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

A shoe is lost at the zoo, and hilarity ensues!Why are children so drawn to this adventurous rhyming story? Because they love to be in on the joke!One day in the summer I went to the zoo, And somehow or other I lost my right shoe!A fun adventure, engaging rhythm and rhyme, and an unlikely culprit keep children giggling all the way to the end of the story, where a delightful discovery is made.If you’re planning to have a fun day at the zoo, You might want to bring along one extra shoe!Grab yours now and join in on the fun!

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  • Panda-Monium - New York Times bestselling author Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth when the zoo’s newest addition goes missing–before she even arrives!–in the latest novel in New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series. FunJungle is frenzied, awaiting the arrival of its most thrilling animal yet–Li Ping–a rare and very expensive giant panda that the zoo went to enormous lengths to secure. But when the truck transporting Li Ping shows up, its precious cargo has vanished into thin air. The FBI steps in to investigate, and Teddy is happy to leave the job in their (supposedly) capable hands. After all, FunJungle has never encountered a crime this serious. But when someone threatens to blackmail Teddy’s girlfriend, Summer, if he doesn’t solve the crime, his involvement in this mystery is no longer black and white.

  • The Extra-Special Helper -

  • Anna, Banana, and Monkey in the Middle - Anna is lucky to have two best friends—it makes everything twice as fun. She’s excited to go with Sadie and Isabel on their class trip to the zoo. But when Anna’s two best friends start choosing opposite sides on everything, Anna feels caught in the middle. Sadie wants Anna to see the spiny anteater with her, but Isabel wants to visit the tortoise instead. When Isabel pulls Anna toward the camel house, Sadie yanks her toward the giraffes. It’s like they’re playing a game of tug-of-war and Anna is the rope! How can Anna keep the peace without causing double trouble?

  • Be Nice to Spiders - When Billy left his pet spider, Helen, at the Zoo, the animals suddenly became happy and contented. The lions snoozed all day long, the elephants enjoyed their baths, and the zebras ate their hay in peace – all because Helen was spinning webs and catching flies.But one day Helen’s webs were swept away. The Keeper had the cages cleaned for the Mayor’s inspection tour. Soon the flies were back again and the animals were miserable once more. But not for long…Children will be fascinated and amused by the way Helen solved the problem and won a permanent place of honor for herself in the Zoo.Margaret Bloy Graham’s pictures match the wit and charm of her delightful story.

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Miss Child Has Gone Wild!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!In the first book in My Weirder School–the laugh-out-loud third arc of the My Weird School series–A.J. and the rest of the third graders at Ella Mentry School go on a field trip to the zoo. There they meet, Miss Child, the weirdest zookeeper in the history of the universe! She believes animals are smarter than humans! She thinks elephants can paint pictures! She keeps snakes in her pockets for fun! Guess who’s going to wind up in a cage with a lion?Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s insanely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang.

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Night of the Zombie Zookeeper
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

It’s Desmond and Andres versus the Zombie Zookeeper in the fourth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series!

Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond.

I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner.

For this case, we’re off to the zoo! Zoo field trips are the best. You get to ride in a bus, you get to spend the day outside, and all the animals are safely far away in their enclosures. Nothing scary here, right? Wrong! Leave it to Desmond Cole to find the one zookeeper who’s also a zombie.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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Hippopotamister
Written & illustrated by John Patrick Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

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