________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 5 . . . . November 2, 2001

cover Last Night at the Zoo.

Michael Garland.
Honesdale, PN: Boyds Mill Press, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $24.99.
ISBN 1-56397-759-1.

Subject Headings:
Zoo animals-Fiction-Juvenile literature.
Zoos-Juvenile literature.
Stories in rhyme-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

**** /4

excerpt:

"How will we pay? Who's got the cash?" An ibex and an emu asked in a flash. Said the seals and a walrus, "We'll cover the cost. There's a pool full of money that people have tossed."

No sooner said, and quick as you please, A monkey had snatched the night watchman's keys. He unlocked the cages and opened them wide- The creatures were free to explore the outside.

At the zoo, the animals, bored and with nothing to do at night, decide to hatch an escape plan. They work together and collect some of the change from the wishing well and clothes from the zoo's "Lost and Found" before sneaking off downtown for a wild adventure. The city bus driver doesn't even notice the animals in their clever disguises. They decide to splurge and have a big meal at a fancy French restaurant. When the waiter throws them out, they head to Club Boogie to dance the night away. Before they start for home, they treat themselves to ice cream. Then they hop the bus and sneak back past the watchman.

     This awarding winning author-artist has done a fine job with this amusing tale. The rhyming text rolls off the tongue. I noticed immediately that something was "different" about the illustrations in this book. Then I realized that they were created electronically. The illustrations on the first and last pages have a soft, almost muted quality. Many of the rest of the illustrations appear in a near collage style with lots of vibrant colours. This adventurous tale is sure to delight. A great purchase for school and public libraries and a must-read for Storytimes everywhere. The audience will be left anxiously waiting for a hint of the zoo animal's next escape plan and will be watching for Garland's next picture book.

Highly Recommended.

Catherine Hoyt is the Curator of the Eileen Wallace Children's Literature Collection at the University of New Brunswick.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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