Book review: This Zoo Is Not For You by Ross Collins.

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This Zoo Is Not For You by Ross Collins is a thought provoking read that will be sure to encourage much discussion about how to treat people and the sense of belonging.

Little One responded to this book with so many questions and found the illustrations fun and comical. This book would also be great to share in schools.

The zoo is holding interviews and on that day a platypus arrives. Of course, the animals assume he is visiting for the interview but all is not what it seems.

The animals are bold and outspoken and not afraid of sharing their honest opinions with the platypus. “…you look like a worn-out shoe,” announce the flamingos. “You are short and quite weird too” declares the elephant. “You’re brownish grey – but just one hue” say the chameleons. For such reasons the animals don’t believe the platypus is worthy of being in the zoo and each animal repeats “This zoo is not for you.”

However, once the platypus leaves they reflect and acknowledge that things said were truly unkind.

Poor platypus had left a note for them all…an invitation to a party! How bad the animals now feel.

Words can be so unkind and the book makes this clear. Thankfully the unkindness is acknowledged in the story and it makes a great talking point.

My daughter only the other day started nursery so I feel such discussions are really important.

The animals apologise and the platypus, drink in hand, with the coolest stance, accepts and the animals enjoy the party.

Ross Collins covers a serious topic in this book but the brilliant illustrations add a lighter touch which are sure to make you smile. The language is age appropriate and at times relaxed “guys” but nothing I’m sure young ones haven’t heard before. The use of rhyming also makes it a super read aloud book. My daughter thought the monkeys were hilarious and with the mention of poo (yes the monkeys throw poo) she was in giggles.

The zoo, representative of the world we live in is filled with different animals, each with unique talents and appearances. We need to make sure such talents are always celebrated and that we are as welcoming as the platypus.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers and Toppsta. All opinions are my own. 

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