Book Review of View from a Zoo
By Sylvia Cochran, Parenting by the Book
View from a Zoo
Young Children to Early Readers
View from a Zoo is the kind of children’s book that you just wish was a bit longer. While most children’s book authors find a brief thought and fill 10 to 20 pages with a few sentences and plenty of illustrations describing it, Knapp succeeds in crafting a story that offers three to four different avenues of discussion.
Well-loved feline Thea lives with a nice family. They take good care of her. Yet she feels oddly bored and unfulfilled. Running away one day, she sees the big world. Wonder is soon replaced with fear and hunger. Yet a wise outdoor cat has compassion on little Thea and takes her to meet a caged lion. Rather than being sad at being in a cage, the lion explains how he has discovered the power of reading as a means to free his spirit. Thea decides to go back home and do likewise.
While adults will have to work a bit harder at suspending their disbelief at a cat that can read or get a library card, kids are bound to love this story. After all, feeling bored and sometimes stifled go hand in hand with being looked after by grownups. If the thinly veiled plug for reading seems to be a bit much for the adult, it is a logical conclusion for the child who wants an answer to the age-old quandary of being bored.
View from a Zoo also opens a dialog about making the most of opportunities, learning from others who may be in similar circumstances, taking chances and being grateful. Then, there is the realization that not everyone we meet is nice or kind. As you can see, parents reading this book to their young children can take the story in a number of directions, which makes you wish that the book was just a bit longer.
Reviewer’s Note: At the writing of this review, this book has just been published, purchase here
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