The Beauty Contest at the Zoo by Kevin Price
What can the animals play before the zoo opens? Maisie knows - they'll have a beauty contest. But how will each animal persuade her that they should win? And which one will she choose?
Since my daughter was born five years ago I have become something of a connoisseur of children's rhyming story books (or so I have led myself to believe). Together we must have read well over a hundred, ranging for the classics of Dr Seuss right up to the modern day delights of Julia Donaldson (we must have at least a dozen of hers, like, I would imagine, at least 99% of all parents).
And now Kevin Price's The Beauty Contest at the Zoo sits proudly alongside books such as Green Eggs and Ham and The Gruffalo, such is its popularity with my daughter. Last night, when I opened the book to read at bedtime her first words were, "Oh, I love this book!", followed by "What is that monkey doing!?!?". She loves it, and when I asked her to tell me what her favourite thing in the book was, I expected her to say the ostrich, or the lion, but she simply said, "Maisie".
This entertaining rhyming story features an array of unique animals brought beautifully to life by the illustrations of Vicky Fieldhouse and it is a real book to treasure. An added bonus is that each sale of the book supports the work of the World Land Trust*, which strives to maintain safe habitats for animals in the wild.
I also greatly enjoyed reading this book as a parent. Amongst my favourite things are the naughty little hyaenas scribbling on the book's opening pages (this was particularly funny for my daughter as it is what her two year old brother is constantly getting in trouble for doing) and the ostrich, whose wide eyed illustration is fantastic. Here are the rhyming words that accompany the ostrich illustration:
The Ostrich shrieked, “Look at my gorgeous eyes,
If I didn’t win, it would be a surprise!”
“Oh please,” scoffed Hyaena, “that’s dopey and dumb,
All we usually see of you is your bum!”
He rolled on the ground and he started to giggle;
Ostrich buried her head and her tail gave a wiggle.
The end of the book features a wonderful little poem written by Viv Burton of World Land Trust and neatly encapsulates what The Beauty Contest at the Zoo is all about:
Sir David Attenborough supports out Trust;
He thinks it’s important and feels that we must
Save land for the animals while there’s still time;
To lose them would be a terrible crime.
The Beauty Contest would make a perfect Christmas present for a child aged between four and nine. And now I can now tell the difference between a cheetah and a leopard… Highly recommended, a lovely children's rhyming book that supports a worthy cause while educating your child.
* The World Land Trust was established in 1989 to protect critically threatened habitats for their wildlife. So far over 500,000 acres have been saved throughout the world and are now protected by local organisations as nature reserves. All donations resulting from the sale of this book will be used by World Land Trust’s overseas project partners to fund park rangers who ensure that the reserves remain safe for animals in the wild. For more information, visit www.worldlandtrust.org
This The Beauty Contest at the Zoo book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Beauty Contest at the Zoo?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Beauty Contest at the Zoo reader reviews
9.6/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Snail and the Whale
One tiny snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of a whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, a...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
For the first time in a decade, Willy Wonka, the reclusive and eccentric chocolate maker, is opening his doors to the public--well, five members of the public, actually. Th...
Lego Ninjago #11: Comet Crisis
Greg Farshtey and Jolyon Yates
The Masters of Spinjitzu are stuck on a comet, having traveled through space to save the World of Ninjago from the Nindroids. As they race through the stars, it becomes app...
Great fantasy books published in 2010
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Five hundred years into the third age of flight and mighty phraxships steam across the immensity of the Deepwoods, plying their lucrative trade between the three great citi...
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky - a palace above the...
Southmarch Castle is about to be caught between two implacable enemies, the ancient, immortal Qar and the insane god-king, the Autarch of Xis. Meanwhile, its two young defe...
My name is John Cleaver. I live in Clayton County, in a mortuary on the edge of town. I have a mother and a sister and an aunt. I’m sixteen years old. I like reading,...
An indispensable guidebook to the Soul Society, Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootlegtakes you behind the scenes in the shadowy world of the Soul Reapers. All Thirteen...
The Way of Kings
Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of ...
Once Walked With Gods
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Towers of Midnight
The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unravelling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to spill out o...
The Broken Kingdoms
In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homele...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: