If you’re not already, make sure to blog hop to check out all of the other Picture Books 14:14 reviews! Today, I’m sharing the book Fraidyzoo, which I have to admit I almost didn’t read just because the title didn’t draw me in, but I’m so glad I did, because the beginning and ending were fantastic.
Author & Illustrator: Thyra Heder
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013
When her big sister wakes her up ecstatic to go to the zoo, Little T. asks an unexpected question:
So… What if someone was AFRAID of going to the zoo?
However, Little T. can’t seem to remember why she’s afraid to go to the zoo. The magic in the middle of the story is less in the story itself than in the illustrations, as the family dresses up in increasingly ornate homemade costumes of zoo animals, trying to jog Little T.’s memory of what it is she’s afraid of.
When none of their lifelike cardboard, bubble wrap, bed sheet, and duct tape animals scare Little T., she decides she’s ready to brave the zoo.
The the story ends with a fabulous twist. It is not Little T., but her enthusiastic big sister who runs off screaming from the zoo. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out what scared her, but I thought it was surprising and hilarious. And of course, Little T. made her own elaborate homemade costume to help her sister brave up for future zoo visits.