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February 25, 2010

Zoo-ology by Joëlle Jolivet

Really, this was going to be another post featuring Library Books My Child Loves So Much That I Had to Go Out and Buy (which this time was Peek A Little Boo by Sheree Fitch), but that post is going to have to be interrupted by another feature called Other Books I Bought While Out Buying a Copy of that Library Book My Child Loves So Much. (And yes, I think I have a problem).

I cannot be blamed, however, for Zoo-ology by Joëlle Jolivet is absolutely the best book ever. It’s also just knocked Rose MacCauley’s Pleasure of Ruins out of first place for tallest book in the house, and we don’t event have a shelf that will accommodate it. (Oooh! Shall we start an oversized section? What fun!).

I’m taking very seriously the “How to Raise a Naturalist” section in E.O. Wilson’s wonderful book The Creation, and I cannot help but think that Zoo-ology will go a long way toward cultivating a sense of wonder about biodiversity. Each enormous page bursts with vivid animal illustrations (that almost look like lino-cuts), with animals familiar and otherwise. And each double page spread is organized quite magically: “In the trees”, followed by “In the seas.” “At night” and “Black and White”. And there’s “Underground” and “On the seabed”. “Spots and stripes” just might be my very favourite.

Each animal is labelled and the book’s index reveals facts about the creatures: “Harp Seal: the young of this species has a beautiful, pure, white coat”. “Fritillary butterfly: The caterpillar of this butterfly feeds on violets”. “Chipmunk: The chipmunk belongs to the squirrel family, but does not live in trees. It lives on the ground, where it hunts for nuts and fruit.”

Oh, the stuff I’ve learned since becoming an avid reader of picture books– for example, I can now name you all the different cars on a freight train. It has been many many years since I was this aware of how much is still left for learning.

One thought on “Zoo-ology by Joëlle Jolivet”

  1. melanie says:

    I want that book – and so does Moira, she just doesn’t know it yet.

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