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Bus to The Zoo

New or Used: $13.50
New or Used: $13.50

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Noah's creaky old ark has been replaced by a big blue bus in Mary Murphy's and Josh Lee's exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom. Their ultimate destination-the zoo-must be a sadly barren place given that all its creatures are here waiting impatiently at numerous bus stops. Their ride is to be a rather bumpy one as there are geese jostling with monkeys, lizards perched precariously on the necks of giraffes and snakes, stoats and frogs all eyeing each other suspiciously. Soon, 'The bus to the zoo was full to the roof / with a motley crew of feather and hoof' and still the cranky (and unseen) driver stops to let yet more animals on. With its simple rhymes and pages crowded with a menagerie of creatures, this book is ideal for preschoolers. Identifying the squealing, squawking and harrumphing passengers will be a fun exercise and Lee's illustrations are full of small details that warrant close inspection: the gorilla staring grumpily at his wristwatch for instance. There's a cheeky twist on the last page, with the mention of the final animal to board the bus, and as an educational bonus, the endpapers list the natural habitat of each animal featured. Thuy On is a Melbourne writer and reviewer

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