Children’s Books: It’s All Happening at the Zoo

By Barbara Bietz

lionWith gas prices soaring, many families are opting out of faraway destination vacations. But that doesn’t mean with a little investigation you can’t have a great time in your own town.

Kid’s love animals, and the whole family can enjoy a trip to the zoo. Check out what zoos are in your area in America’s Best Zoos – A Travel Guide for Fans and Families by Allan W. Nyhuis and Jon Wasser. The comprehensive guide is organized by geographical region and offers detailed information about what exhibits are available as well as descriptions of what’s available for kids to do at each location.

If the kids need some new animal tunes for the ride, check out Five Little Monkey’s and Other Kid Stuff by Fran Snyder. This fun CD is chock full of cute and clever kid friendly tunes that even parents will enjoy! With songs like Polar Bear Hug, Hugh Manatee and If I Had a Giraffe, the whole family will be singing along. The best part is that you can hear the songs on the website. Check it out:

Before your big trip to the zoo, do some research at the library. Have each of the kids pick out a favorite animal to read about, and then make a list of interesting facts about the animal. Family members can share information they have learned. Since this isn’t homework, parents can participate as much as they like! The kids will fell like they already know their animal, and the family visit to the zoo will be even more exiting.

You might also read some classic zoo book selections including, 1,2,3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle, and by Rod Campbell.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, and don’t forget the sun block!


Like A Maccabee – This middle grade chapter book tells the story of Ben, a 10-year-old boy who is gearing up for a championship soccer game while adjusting to the changes in his family that have occurred since his grandfather moved in. Ben faces challenges at school, including the bully from the opposing soccer team, and frustrations at home.

About Barbara Bietz

Barbara is a writer from Oak Park, California. Her favorite pastime is reading children’s books. She enjoys writing for adults and children. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.

Some of the books reviewed have been provided by the author or publisher in order to present the most accurate information possible.

Children’s Book Reviews

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at
Barbara Bietz

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