Out and About at the Zoo

Our family has enjoyed reading aloud for years, even beyond the early reading days. There was a lull in the aloud-reading department after our children left home and before grandkiddos came along. Now when they visit, we have both serious story reading and funny romps through books. Out and About at the Zoo will be one that will be fun.


Out and About is a simple story about a day at the zoo. Most children can relate to such an outing. The rhyming text will be easy for little ones to memorize so they can “read” along. Author Jo Linsdell adds enough action to the simple text for children to play along with the kangaroos, monkeys, and zebras.

I especially like the simple illustrations. Young children like to copy pictures as they learn to draw. Ms. Linsdell’s pictures, with the circles, ovals, and other shapes, can be copied easily with crayons, even by an adult.

Three of us sat on the couch, a five-year-old, a six-year-old, and me. Each of us took turns reading a page. Our five-year-old grandson is just learning simple phonics, but there are enough pages with one sentence that he was able to join the round robin reading with little difficulty. Our six-year-old granddaughter read the text with ease. Although she was thrown a little by British spelling, it didn’t detract from the fun.

After reading the book, the children did go off and draw pictures based on those in the book. They wrote their own sentences to go with the picture. To add to the fun, we downloaded some puzzles and pictures from Ms. Linsdell’s website. Once all the drawing, writing, and coloring was finished, the pages were stapled together to create their own book.

Ms. Linsdell may not have intended for this little rhyming book to be so educational. But with a little encouragement and a lot of youngster imagination, children end up learning more than just the words.

I recommend this to parents of preschoolers and homeschoolers with beginning readers. Out and About at the Zoo
will provide great fun, learning moments, and memories.

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