Official Review: Love at the Zoo by Caitlin Matter

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unamilagra
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Official Review: Love at the Zoo by Caitlin Matter

Post by unamilagra » 29 Sep 2019, 21:56

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Love at the Zoo" by Caitlin Matter.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Love at the Zoo is an endearing children’s book written by Caitlin Matter. A mother and her daughter head to the zoo one beautiful summer day. While they are checking out all the animals, the mother decides to take the opportunity to explain to her daughter just how much she loves her. By comparing her love to the animals they see, she conveys all the ways her love is like the zoo. At one point, she asks her little girl if she understands. Her daughter’s response will warm anyone’s heart.

Having young kids of my own, I know that kids gravitate toward reading books about love, especially parental love. The theme of this book is one that any parent or child can embrace. The message is aided by the colorful full-page illustrations of the various animals. The drawings are simple and somewhat cartoonish, which is a style that little kids typically adore.

The story is told in rhyme, but I had trouble really getting a feel for the rhythm. It seemed that some of the stanzas were four lines long, while others were five. There were also not a consistent number of beats per line, which could make it a bit frustrating for an adult trying to read aloud to kids. However, nothing about the rhythm was so far off that it would bother a small child.

My only other quibble with the book is that while the comparisons between animals and love were sweet, some of the actual phrases didn’t make a lot of sense, and some were even a bit off-putting. For example, I’m not sure why anyone would want to say their love was “as prickly as a porcupine” or “as creepy as a crocodile.”

All in all, I thought this was a middle-of-the-road children’s book, given that the market for books about parental love is already highly saturated. There isn’t anything about this book that really makes it stand out as unique. I would award it 2.5 stars if half points were allowed, but considering that the weaknesses with the rhyming scheme and some of the phrasing are not likely to bother small children as much as they bothered me, I award Love at the Zoo 3 out of 4 stars. The book was edited well, as I found no errors, and the cute illustrations and sweet message will ingratiate it to kids. I would recommend this to parents who are looking for a good bedtime book for their toddlers or preschoolers.

******
Love at the Zoo
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Michelle Fred
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Post by Michelle Fred » 01 Oct 2019, 04:28

I envisioned being pricked by the spine of a porcupine and the only feeling that came to mind is 'Ouch!' I don't want love like that. Thanks for your detailed review.

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Post by gen_g » 01 Oct 2019, 05:40

Oh, it seems like there needs to be just a bit more work done so that the phrases aren't as awkward. I hope that the author adjusts those based on your suggestions. Thanks for the insightful review!

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Post by CColony2019 » 01 Oct 2019, 15:14

I’ve just started looking for books to read to my daughter. I love the idea behind the book. But “creepy” isn’t something I want her thinking about when it comes to my love for her. Good review. Thank you.
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Post by Wyland » 02 Oct 2019, 06:29

Teaching children about love through a visit to the zoo is quite inventive and cool. Thanks for your wonderful review.

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Post by Tomah » 02 Oct 2019, 10:42

An interesting idea for a children's book with some minor flaws in execution. Not something particularly revolutionary, for sure, but it seems competent at what it tries to do. Thanks for the review!

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Post by unamilagra » 02 Oct 2019, 12:09

Michelle Fred wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 04:28
I envisioned being pricked by the spine of a porcupine and the only feeling that came to mind is 'Ouch!' I don't want love like that. Thanks for your detailed review.
I know, that's what I thought too. The idea was sweet until you really stopped to think about some of the comparisons. Thanks for commenting!

gen_g wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 05:40
Oh, it seems like there needs to be just a bit more work done so that the phrases aren't as awkward. I hope that the author adjusts those based on your suggestions. Thanks for the insightful review!
I hope so too, the book has potential. Thanks for stopping by!

CColony2019 wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 15:14
I’ve just started looking for books to read to my daughter. I love the idea behind the book. But “creepy” isn’t something I want her thinking about when it comes to my love for her. Good review. Thank you.
I agree, I wouldn't want that either. Thanks for your comment!

Wyland wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 06:29
Teaching children about love through a visit to the zoo is quite inventive and cool. Thanks for your wonderful review.
Thanks for commenting!

Tomah wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 10:42
An interesting idea for a children's book with some minor flaws in execution. Not something particularly revolutionary, for sure, but it seems competent at what it tries to do. Thanks for the review!
Thank you for stopping by!

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Post by AvidBibliophile » 02 Oct 2019, 17:13

Just reading your review of this book put me in a warm and fuzzy, heartfelt sort of mood :) I do not have any kids myself, but I remember from my own youth how much I loved animal stories and having my mom read out loud with me! I do sometimes, admittedly, read out loud to my dog so maybe this is one she and I would both enjoy.

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Post by Bambiears » 02 Oct 2019, 18:23

You know, sometimes...
when I lay in bed and wonder how love feels.
Suddenly it hits me. Its like a quill deep in the skin. Haha

Thanks for the review and all the time invested into providing a peak into Love at the zoo.

Congratulations on a job well done.

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Post by kdstrack » 02 Oct 2019, 22:03

Kids love the zoo. I think they will enjoy the book even though some of the lines might not rhyme. I agree, this would be a fun bedtime read. Great insights!

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Post by unamilagra » 06 Oct 2019, 15:20

AvidBibliophile wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 17:13
Just reading your review of this book put me in a warm and fuzzy, heartfelt sort of mood :) I do not have any kids myself, but I remember from my own youth how much I loved animal stories and having my mom read out loud with me! I do sometimes, admittedly, read out loud to my dog so maybe this is one she and I would both enjoy.
I'm sure your dog would love it, LOL. Thanks for commenting!

Bambiears wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 18:23
You know, sometimes...
when I lay in bed and wonder how love feels.
Suddenly it hits me. Its like a quill deep in the skin. Haha

Thanks for the review and all the time invested into providing a peak into Love at the zoo.

Congratulations on a job well done.
Haha, thanks for your comment!

kdstrack wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 22:03
Kids love the zoo. I think they will enjoy the book even though some of the lines might not rhyme. I agree, this would be a fun bedtime read. Great insights!
Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 07 Oct 2019, 11:11

I like parental love theme. I agree that markets are saturated with this sort of children stuff. But I think any book purchased for a kid is unique for him or her. Because we usually see the higher level of curiosity among children as compared to adults. Great review.
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Post by Bambiears » 07 Oct 2019, 21:13

AvidBibliophile wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 17:13
Just reading your review of this book put me in a warm and fuzzy, heartfelt sort of mood :) I do not have any kids myself, but I remember from my own youth how much I loved animal stories and having my mom read out loud with me! I do sometimes, admittedly, read out loud to my dog so maybe this is one she and I would both enjoy.
Aww that is really sweet.
I am sure she soaks up all the attention.

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Post by Kelyn » 07 Oct 2019, 21:28

I don't think there can be too many books out there with the theme of parental love...or familial love in general actually. I don't think I want my children thinking my love for them is "prickly" or "creepy," but other than that, it seems like a charming book. Thanks for the engaging review!

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Post by AvidBibliophile » 08 Oct 2019, 13:49

Bambiears wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 21:13
AvidBibliophile wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 17:13
Just reading your review of this book put me in a warm and fuzzy, heartfelt sort of mood :) I do not have any kids myself, but I remember from my own youth how much I loved animal stories and having my mom read out loud with me! I do sometimes, admittedly, read out loud to my dog so maybe this is one she and I would both enjoy.
Aww that is really sweet.
I am sure she soaks up all the attention.
She really does! Her name is Nahla, she’s a chiweenie, and she has been my best friend for the past 9 years. I run all my best ideas and accents past her, lol

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