My Family is a Zoo
K. A. Gerrard
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Imagine if all your family’s favourite animal toys came alive and then they were all put into the family car to go on a special journey. So your dad’s elephant, your bear, your sister’s whale… – even your uncle’s penguin – are all in together, squished in, strapped on, smooshed up and not a complaint amongst them. It must be a special destination or celebration. There’s no mention of mum at all although there are a couple of unattached polar bears that might give a clue.
This is a fun, colourful story-in-rhyme that will appeal to pre-schoolers and make them laugh out loud. They will enjoy the rhyme and the rhythm as well as watching the car get more and more crowded. Perhaps it’s a good thing the family gets to their destination when they do. Because all the familiar family members are mentioned this would be a great starting point to explore the concept of family and how its members are related as well as where they fit in the scheme of things. Some may choose to investigate their immediate family tree and compare the structure, people and numbers in their families to those of their friends and the book family. If every family is different, what is the thread that makes them a family? Others might like to do an in-class survey to find out if teddies are the most popular toys, graph the results and talk about their findings.
Simple on the surface but like all good stories, one read is not enough because there is always more to explore.