Dear Zoo

Written by Rod Campbell

For ages 0 to 5

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This book is best for:
  • conjunctions (but, so)
  • labelling (animals)
  • sequencing
  • simple prediction


A little boy wants a pet, but the zoo keeps sending him animals that just won’t make good pets. An elephant is too heavy, a giraffe is too tall, and a snake is too scary! Until, at last, they send the perfect pet.

Dear Zoo is another much loved classic picture book that never gets old. Children love predicting what animal the zoo could have sent next, then lifting the flaps and labelling the animal they see. The repetitive nature of this story makes it great for targeting a range of speech and language skills, such as conjunctions (“but it was too…”, “so I sent it back”) and adjectives (e.g. tall, big, jumpy, scary, grumpy). It’s also an ideal choice for simple sequencing (e.g. first the zoo sent an elephant, and then a giraffe...). Expand on this by adding the animal noises, imitating the animals’ movements, or describing what they look like. The possibilities for developing children’s language skills using this book are endless!

* Special thanks to Leah Lomiansky for this book recommendation

For further speech and language targets in Dear Zoo, see the list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Action Sequence

Story Plot: Repetitive Tale

  • animals - pets, zoo

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /k/ - kept, monkey, back, snake
  • /s/ - so, sent
  • /t/ - too, pet
  • /z/ - zoo, was
  • CVC structures - back, him
  • adjectives (tall, big, jumpy, scary, grumpy)
  • conjunctions (but he was too...; so I sent him back)
  • irregular past tense verbs (sent, wrote)
  • objective pronouns (me)
  • subjective pronouns (I, he)
  • action verbs (open - when opening the flaps)
  • labelling (animals)
  • identifying parts (animal body parts)
  • predicting
  • sequencing
Book Info

Published by Simon & Schuster in 2007 (ISBN: 9781416947370)

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