Children’s Book Author
Lori Degman

Reviews for 1 Zany Zoo

Kirkus Reviews - June, 2010

"A fearless fox filches keys, and crazy creatures stir up all kinds of mischief. While waiting in line for the zoo to open, a little boy sneaks in, just in time to see the zookeeper’s keys being snatched. He follows the fox, who lets all the animals out of their cages. Then... “2 sporty zebras in goggles and flippers / were snipping the walruses’ whiskers with clippers.” An array of further animal antics unfolds in bouncy verse

(full of phonetic Seussian crunch) amid equally antic pictures. There are “4 anxious elephants” packing their trunks but stopped by skunks; “6 groovy ’roos” tapping their shoes, along with hyenas singing rhythm and blues; fickle leopards, pompous peacocks, clever chimps and so on join in the mayhem all the way up to ten. Degman’s verse is bright—this text won the Cheerios New Author Contest—and animator Jack’s digitally produced creatures, both animal and human, are pleasingly Bill Peet–esque. Crackling good fun."  

School Library Journal - July, 2010

"By sneaking into the zoo before it opens, a young boy witnesses "1 fearless fox" stealing the zookeeper's keys. Whimsical mayhem ensues as animals are freed from their cages. Hippos play musical chairs, beavers cook up chili for lunch, and leopards trade in their round spots for squares and triangles. All returns to normal, however, with one loud shout from the zookeeper, and the young boy is deposited back outside to wait in line. Degman's giggle-inducing rhymes move this read-aloud story along: "2 sporty zebras in goggles and flippers were snipping the walrus's whiskers with clippers./One did the combing, the other the trimming./They swept up the clippings, then all four went swimming." Kids will enjoy hearing the catchy rhymes read multiple times. Digital cartoon images, made to appear like hand-drawn ink sketches, capture the swift movement and playful mood. Overall, this a fun romp through the zoo."

Early Childhood Library Blog - January, 2011

"1 Zany Zoo  by Lori Degman and illustrated by Colin Jack is a very entertaining new book about, well, a zany zoo! While this is a counting book, the narrative is very well written and neatly woven in with the counting. I really enjoyed that with the great story and the counting, the text also rhymed!

So, a little boy is recounting a rather wild tale about when he snuck into the zoo. And he swears “it’s the truth-every last word.” It all starts when a fearless fox grabs the  zoo keeper’s keys and proceeds to visit and free all the animals in the zoo. Of course, all the animals have names preceded by appropriate adjectives. There’s also lots of alliteration and animal antics that young children will just love.

One of my favorite moments is when the fickle leopards are “waiting in line to trade in their spots for some fresh new designs!” They get new shapes like diamonds, ovals, and stars to replace their tired old spots. Then, right in the middle of the big zoo parade, the zoo keeper shouts for the animals to go back to their cages.

The ending is super cute and I promise you that you and your young child will really enjoy reading this one together! A sure fire hit!

What readers are saying:

"1 Zany Zoo is a fun read. Catchy rhyme, tongue-twistery word combos, a counting element, and a wacky story that brings to mind Dr. Seuss's And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street combine for a reading experience that will leave your little ones enchanted and asking you to read it again.  My favorite line? "2 sporty zebras in goggles and flippers/were snipping the walrus's whiskers with clippers." And the end begs the question: did this REALLY happen, or was the boy letting his imagination run wild to pass the time waiting in line? You've got to wonder... Recommended."

"This is an adorable book! we first found it in the cheerios box! we read it so many times the book broke and we had to buy the hard cover! my and daughter and I have memorized this book!! fun fun reading!!! and now memorizing!!!"

"We just love this book. After receiving it in a box of Cherrios it became a favorite. It is one of those books that will grab you from the beginning. It is a very entertaining and silly story. The use of counting, shapes, and imagination are great. I think the illustrations are wonderful. My daughter loves the 7 sad hippos. I am now buying it in hardback to add to our collection. It is one book that will make it into the keepsake box so that we will be able to read it to our grandchildren."

"This is a wonderfully illustrated book, the first thing you see is the cover and the drawings and you cannot resist the idea presented on the cover. I have purchased this book, and then I purchased five more to give to friends who have children as well, and all of them have told me their children love the book."

"Gave this book as a gift to a great niece and nephew. Both the boy and girl LOVE this book. The rhymes are adorable and fun to read, even for adults. The kids hunt for the fox on each page and the illustrations have a modern retro feel. They ask for this book over and over!"

"This book was one of the winners of the Cheerios new author contest.This is how we first got the book, a small paperback inside of a box of Cheerios. It quickly became one of our favorites. Absolutely unique,wonderfully silly(definitely zany!)and full of imagination! My
5 and 3 year old love it. Dare I say, I may love 
it more than my kids! Its a special day when you stumble across a book so full of vibrant imagination and excitement. Truly a masterpiece in children's literature. You don't want the story to end, and it makes you imagine what else could have happened inside that Zany Zoo? A Fabulous book that inspires children to read and learn. Bravo!"

"I love to purchase books for my children, but now that I have easily 150+ in our home library, I've finally decided to only purchase books that I REALLY love. This was a GREAT addition to our collection.  Our 4.5 y/o son loves it, as do our 2 y/o twins. The book is engaging, the illustrations are wonderfully fun, and being able to help with counting is a plus. I was surprised to stumble on it at a bookstore while on vacation, and I will most definitely purchase it as a gift for our children's friends. How can it be that there are only a few reviews for this book (as of now, at least)? I was amazed that more people haven't yet raved about this book on Amazon -- get the word out as it is a true delight and you won't be disappointed by it!  1 Zany Zoo won the Cheerios New Author Contest, deservedly so. Highly recommended!"

"My 16-month-old son LOVES this book. We were introduced to it through the small Cheerios box paperback dual language version. At this point, our little paper copy is well-worn and pretty beat up - but that's only because Ben loves to look at the pictures so much, and he hasn't quite learned yet how to be nice to books with paper pages. Often, he will bring the book to me and enjoys sitting on my lap while I read it to him. I'm so happy that he is developing an interest in books and will often sit down on his own and flip through the pages. He even babbles at them, as if he's "reading" them!" 

The illustrations are full of fun things to look at, and Ben likes to "find the fox" on each page. I definitely recommend this book to anyone building a library for their kids..... I'm even considering getting a copy of it as a gift for Ben's little cousin. I think she would like it, too! As a former math teacher, I like the counting aspect of the story - and for language development, rhyming, sing-song stories are lots of fun for kids to hear and eventually repeat.”

"The illustrations are full of fun things to look at, and Ben likes to "find the fox" on each page. I definitely recommend this book to anyone building a library for their kids..... I'm even considering getting a copy of it as a gift for Ben's little cousin. I think she would like it, too! As a former math teacher, I like the counting aspect of the story - and for language development, rhyming, sing-song stories are lots of fun for kids to hear and eventually repeat."

“I have used this book in my kindergarten classroom and the children love it! It is great for building vocabulary, predicting, and rhyming. We have used it during "Z" week as well as in our listening center. This book is great for all ages!”

“A little boy waiting in line for the zoo to open, sneaks into the zoo through a hidden gate. What he see is that the zoo isn't quite ready to open yet. The fox has escaped, the zebras are swimming with the walruses and the beavers are cooking chilli! All the animals are going ZANY while the zookeeper tries to get them to behave.

Why I liked this book - What kid wouldn't want to get into the zoo before it opens and see what is going on?!? This is a hilarious book! The rhyme is perfect and it is very fun to read out loud. The illustrations are great! They are as funny as the story and go with it well.

Along with the great story and illustrations, kids will learn how to count to ten. I think that the animals and their wacky behavior will help kids remember their numbers!

**NOTE I won a copy of this book in a give-away.”

“We first got the book in a box of cheerios, and I'm glad we did! My husband and I have read this book so many times to our son that we can recite it from memory. We bought the hard cover book for our library, and so far every baby shower I go to, I add this book to the gift!”

“I know it says that the age level for this book is Kindergarten to 1st Grade, but my 1-year old LOVES this book. We got it in a Cheerios box, and he loves to play with it and "read" it himself. And he hands it to me and wants me to read it over and over again. I must admit, it's one of the few books he has that I'm not tired of reading, because it's fun every time. It's unique enough to keep it interesting and the rhymes are really creative and fun. In fact, our paper version is so worn (and taped up) that I just ordered the hardback version to replace it. I'll probably keep the paperback one for my son to play with, however, so he doesn't destroy the good copy!”

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