"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." Kirkus Review
If one boy told you he saw 2 sporty zebras and 5 clever chimps and 10 rowdy bears, would his story add up? Find out in 1 Zany Zoo!
Written by Lori Degman
Illustrated by Colin Jack
Published by Simon & Schuster
* Winner of the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest
* Illinois Reads Book Selection
* South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee
"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." -- Kirkus Reviews
"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." -- School Library Journal
"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!
-- Early Childhood Library Blog
The day before Thanksgiving, 2008, I got a phone call from General Mills telling me I was the grand prize winner in the 2nd annual Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories New Author Contest. Not only did I win a cash prize, but Simon & Schuster published the book and put a mini version inside 2.2 million boxes of Cheerios! After years of writing, submitting, and getting nothing but rejections, this was a dream come true! Thank you Cheerios, the judges and the editors at Simon & Schuster! I want to add a big CONGRATULATIONS to the two runners-up in the contest: Tameka Fryer Brown, for her story "I'm Not Eating That!," and Joan Stradling, for her story, "Who Invites a Pig to Dinner?"
Check out the 1 Zany Zoo book trailer!
Illustration by Colin Jack from 1 Zany Zoo.