On a family outing to the zoo, who wants to be caught in traffic, look at the boring animlas first and have your dad tell embarrassing jokes. Will a lunch of burgers, fries, beans and ice cream - and a stop at the gift shop - save the day?
About The Author
ANTHONY BROWNE is the acclaimed author and illustrator of such prize-winning bestsellers as GORILLA (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award), WILLY THE WIMP and ZOO (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal). Anthony Browne's first picture book for Doubleday was published last year to great acclaim. VOICES IN THE PARK won the 1998 Kurt Maschler Award and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Anthony was also the winner of the 2000 Hans Christan Andersen Award for Illustration.
From the author of Piggybook (1986), another powerful exploration of the family scene with a similar family of four: massive, boorish Dad, riding roughshod over everyone; quiet little Mum, a pained but helpless observer; the narrator and his younger brother, endlessly squabbling instead of looking at the caged animals they've come to see. The surreal touches here are minimal - the odd reptilian foot on a child or an animal head above a pin-striped suit suggest that humans, too, are animals - but the extraordinary visual emphases are telling: a faraway elephant is blocked by a rail; a rhino is dwarfed by his glass-and-concrete enclosure; and while Dad looms, huge and belligerent, the gorilla he resembles looks back with a sad, far more intelligent gaze, and Mum and the quarreling boys are seen through bars, as if caged. The simple, childlike narration rings painfully true; the one note of hope is a query suggesting that the zoo visit has aroused curiosity, if not sensitivity: "Do you think animals have dreams?" It's a bleak portrait: these boys, as trapped in their family as the animals are in the zoo, are well on their way to growing up to be just like Dad. As usual, Browne's elegant, sharply satirical art is exquisitely designed and painted. A provocative look at the darker side of family dynamics. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Red Fox picture books
For Ages: 5 - 7 years old
For Grades: K - 2
Number Of Pages: 32
Published: May 1994
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 29.3 x 22.3 x 0.4
Weight (kg): 0.21
Edition Number: 1