“‘Twas the day before zoo day, when all ’round the park, the creatures felt restless and wished it were dark.” If this rhyme sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a clever take on The Night Before Christmas, updated and told as a tale about how zookeepers care for their animals.
Readers will discover the amount of work required to prepare for a zoo visit. Workers must feed the animals, clean their dwellings, and clean the animals too. They’ll also find that the animals, like children, are sometimes restless and want to play. Funny examples include naughty elephants that use their trunks as sprinklers and get the workers soaked, and llamas who must be persuaded to be polite and not spit on everyone.
Catherine Ipcizade is an author and writing mentor for children. She has written three other books about zoo animals. In addition to writing picture books, Ipcizade has published more than 400 magazine articles. Illustrator Ben Hodson won the 2007 Ben Franklin Award for “best interior art” for How the Moon Regained Its Shape, and received the 2004 Glass Slipper Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Canadian Conference.
Children will love this story for its bold colors and familiar meter. Parents and educators will enjoy using the educational materials, which includes a picture—word matching exercise, animal fun facts table, a zookeeper fact sheet and an online supplement.