Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Matilda’s book reviews; Dear Zoo

Well don’t I have a treat for you? I am today starting a new regular feature on this here blog. Oh yes, no longer just random brain farts about whatever happens to be occupying my mind at the time but actual planning of posts. I love reading, the Lady of the Manor loves reading so it is somewhat unsurprising that Matilda is OBSESSED with books. I mean really obsessed. If you sit down for even 10 seconds somewhere near where she is playing she will grab a book and crawl over to you with it and demand for it to be read. While the 5th reading of a Bear on a bike in as many minutes might begin to drive us crazy I’ll never complain that she wants to read rather play with some plastic, made in China toy.

So the feature is this, every Monday I will post a review of the latest book that Matilda is obsessed with. There’ll be some comments from Matilda on why she likes it and some from me as Dad having to read them. 

The first book I wanted to share is a classic and a long time favourite. It’s so good we have it in a few different formats, a small buggy one and at least 2 larger format ones. 

What I love about Dear Zoo is the opportunity to do lots of different voices for each animal; a deep scary voice for the line, a Voldermort style hiss for the snake and a grumpy Eeyore voice for the camel. Plus of course all the animal noises that go with them. I also love the simplicity of it, for Matilda’s age it’s perfect to have the repeated phrase and simple story. With the added advantage of being able to pull back the cages etc to reveal the animals.

Matilda mainly likes trying to pull off the cages that hide the animals, she seems to think that destruction is part of the game. But she does do a very good snake impression and laughs her head off as we do the other animal noises together. She also has a pretty scary Lions raw perfected.

So all in all a classic book. Simple, educational, interactive and colourful. It may be the first review but I’m going to be bold and say that this book sets the standard, an essential on any toddlers book shelf.

P.S. The book also started an interesting debate amongst the adults of Camel vs. Dromedary. Did anyone ever hear of a Dromedary while at school? My little cousins who went to school in the States know all about them but the concept was new to me and the Lady of the Manor even when in our twenties.


  1. Totally agree there – it’s a great book which we enjoy reading too, I tend to do a lot of spitting when I get to the camel. However I could be really picky and say that it doesn’t teach pet ownership responsibility what with being able to just send back a pet because it’s too grumpy! Maybe a bit young to get that message yet 🙂

  2. It’s certainly a classic. It’s one of the few book that like you we have multiple copies of, with one for the car and one in the buggy.

    If I asked my boys for their top three it would be this, along with ‘Who’s in the Loo?’ and ‘Moo Cow Kung Fu Cow’.

    Mark, Sonny, and Luca.

  3. I thought dromedaries were the two-humped ones, not the one humped ones. You live and learn!

    Spotting a theme here, but we also have 2 copies of Dear Zoo, both I think were gifts – one for each girl. Megan’s is fancy though, it’s got buttons down the side with the animals pictured on them, and they make appropriate noises when pressed! They were obviously struggling with what noise a giraffe makes, though, because it’s just a chomping noise.

    Great new feature!

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