Wild About Books review

This tale about building a library at the zoo is sure to become a favorite in your household. Photo: Marc Brown

SILVER SPRING, Md, December 14, 2012 – Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown ISBN: 9780375925382   

The story itself is great for children, and for those children who go to the library or to the zoo, it is relatable as well. Molly McGrew, the Springfield librarian is the hero of the story. Molly puts things into motion when she accidently drives the book mobile into the zoo, where she decides to teach the animals how to read.  “By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss, she quickly attracted a minx and a moose…” and then entirety of the zoo flock to her storytime.

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown.

Soon after, all of the animals in the zoo are reading, and Molly is serving her new furry, feathery, and scaly friends as she would the patrons of the library. She finds books in Chinese for the pandas, waterproof books for the otters, and small books for crickets. After developing such a love for books, the Tasmanian devils lead the way in writing their own books. Before long, there is an entire literary culture at the zoo. With the help of the animals Molly builds a new library at the zoo – the zoobrary –where the animals put the books they have written.

Marc Brown has beautifully illustrated this fun tale about the creation of the zoobrary. The colorful illustrations catch and keep the attention of young children. He had done an excellent job of working tiny details of the story into the illustrations. So rather than simply retelling what the words say, the pictures complement and enhance the story.  

Dedicated to Dr. Seuss and published on the 100th anniversary of his birth, there are references to him throughout. The most obvious of which is the rhyme and meter the story is written in, followed by the name of the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, who is named after Dr. Seuss’s zoo keeper Gerald McGrew. The Cat-in-the-Hat also makes a cameo as Molly chooses this book as the one to read to attract the animals.

While this book is recommended for older children (3-7) in most reviews, the book is suitable for much younger children, especially animal lovers. The colorful pictures capture their attention and the different animals keep their attention. The rhythm and pacing of the story is also well divided and planned across the pages, so there is no point when you linger on the page too long.

Wild About Books has racked up the honors and awards. It was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was named a Bank Street College of Education’s Irma Simonton Black Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Book.  In 2005 it won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, the Mom’s Choice Platinum Award, and the National Parenting Publications Gold Award.

Published by Random House Children’s Books in 2004, Wild About Books is only available in hardcover, but you will read it so many times, you will be glad that you have a sturdy binding.

Photo by J. Aaron Farr. Click to enlarge.

Not only does it appeal to children who love animals, but it helps instill an early love of reading and books by showing that those same animals also love reading. With its appealing fun story-telling and bright pictures this book sure to become a favorite in your household.


Follow Brighid on Twitter a @BrighidMoret and receive updates when new columns post on Facebook. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times. Find more reviews of children’s picture books at Big Reads For Little Hands.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Big Reads For Little Hands
blog comments powered by Disqus
Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer and first time mother.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Find her on Facebook @Brighid Moret


Contact Brighid Moret


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus