Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Happy New Year to all and welcome back to ReadItDaddy after a brief break. The first review of 2011 takes a look at Zoo by Anthony Browne. 

Browne is a modern master of the surreal. As Children's Laureate you have to wonder what sort of influence the man would have over the nation's youth. His illustrations are often quietly disturbing, but in a good way (I think). 

In Zoo, Browne tackles the thorny subject of animal conservation and in particular, one family's attitude to a simple visit to London Zoo. The characters may feel a bit cliched (why is it always the dads that are portrayed as grumpy?) but the underlying message of the book hits home like a sledgehammer. Are zoos for animals or people?

Great dialogue and superbly bonkers illustrations as you'd expect from a Browne book. 

Charlotte's best bit: The monkey hats.

Daddy's favourite bit: The sneaky hidden human / animal hybrids that look like escapees from the Island of Dr Moreau

Rating: 4 out of 5