Book Review: Peek-a-Zoo (Reading with Pearl)

Peek-a-Zoo, Scholastic, 2005

Peek-a-Zoo, Scholastic, 2005

We have this terrific early literacy program here on the Coast where each month an age-appropriate book is sent to your home for your child. (It’s done in partnership with Dolly Parton’s reading program.) I love it and Pearl’s already received several fun board books. (I always knew board books were great at this age but they’re even better than I thought. She can go to town gumming them and she can’t rip the pages. Every pretty picture book we own that is not a board book has been moved to the book shelf in her room that she can’t get to.) Peek-a-Zoo was the book we got recently when Pearl and I attended one of the local sessions. (You go once a season to stay on their list and learn some parenting stuff. We went around the room and everyone was asked to share what song their baby likes best. Everyone else was sharing nursery songs so I said Pearl’s favourite song was “Skinni-marinki-doo”, which she does like but I also didn’t want to admit that I never play nursery music for her and the song she gets most excited to hear right now is “No Devil” by San Fermin. Am I a bad mom?)

Pearl loves this book. Which concerns me because, honestly the plot is a mess.

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Page 1. Is this the aftermath of a horrific accident? Is that where the cat’s body went?

I mean, what’s going on here? There’s a baby in a car? Where is an adult, by the way? And then there’s a disembodied cat out of nowhere. Pictured below this is water with fish so is this some kind of water car? Is it going to hit the cat?

The plot doesn’t get better from there. The next page features a giant flower next to a teddy bear wearing a hat. By the end of the book there’s a lion, a baby, an elephant, and a bee in a house (seriously, don’t leave your baby alone with those animals) and the last page is just different textures and colours. Disappointing.

I can only hope that Pearl’s taste becomes more discerning with time.

But what does she really love about this book? There’s a mirror in the middle of it. And Pearl loves nothing more than staring at her own reflection.

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(She also loves finding out “what’s in here?” Spoiler: something bumpy.)

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Pearl likes to put her mouth right on the mouth of the baby in the mirror.

For the discerning reader, I just can’t recommend this book. While the book contains some fascinating concepts, there’s a lot of work to be done before we have a story truly worth following.

If you’re almost eight months old though and get really, really excited when you spot your own reflection? Yeah, this book is for you.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Peek-a-Zoo (Reading with Pearl)

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