Children's Book Review: Clifford Visits the Zoo by Norman Bridwell

Join Clifford and Emily Elizabeth on a fantastic afternoon at the zoo! As the friends explore the zoo, they learn opposites along the way. The koalas are sleepy; Clifford is energetic. The seals are wet; Clifford is dry. Butterflies are light; Clifford is heavy. A hippo is dirty; Clifford is clean. Young readers will delight in seeing all different kinds of animals and learning opposites in the process. There is even some light nonfiction at the back of the book about each animal Clifford encounters at the zoo. Includes a plush Clifford on the front cover!
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Age Group: Children
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli & Kaitlyn
I was so excited to receive Clifford Visits the Zoo in the mail from Scholastic.  I read the Clifford books as a child and couldn't wait to share this book with Kaitlyn.  Kaitlyn is almost 3 1/2 and she's watched Clifford on PBS Kids but we haven't read any Clifford books yet. 

Right away, Clifford Visits the Zoo was a hit with Kaitlyn.  The cover is a regular hardback cover, except for Clifford himself, who is plush.  She loved that---even though she's past the age of liking touch-and-feel books.  She kept saying, "Clifford is so soft!"

Clifford Visits the Zoo is a picture book, but the pages are sturdier than most picture books, which I appreciate, because torn pages make me twitchy.  I have been known to replace a book if Kaitlyn tears a page (I just can't help myself). 

Now, on to the story.  Emily Elizabeth and Clifford are visiting the zoo.  The story takes the pair to the different zoo exhibits, where Clifford is compared with each animal.  Hence, Clifford Visits the Zoo teaches about opposites.  I especially liked that the opposite words were in bright red.  For example, "Next we see koalas.  They are sleeping.  Clifford is wide awake."  The emphasis on the opposites was fun for Kaitlyn and made the book more interesting for me to read as well.  The illustrations are classically simple yet appealing.  Kaitlyn loved how big Clifford is in comparison to the other animals.

Kaitlyn's favorite part of Clifford Visits the Zoo was the section at the back of the book, which listed all the animals from the zoo, and a short nonfiction paragraph about each one.  The nonfiction section was just right: not too long, with short sentences that were easy for Kaitlyn to understand.  She had some questions about this section, so I knew she was still paying attention and that the animal facts were making an impression on her.

In closing, Clifford Visits the Zoo was a huge hit at my house.  It's a fun read about one of Clifford's adventures, that subtly teaches about opposites and zoo animals as well.  It became a fast favorite of Kaitlyn's, and I plan on adding more Clifford books to our library.  These books are classic picture books, and I'm so glad to share this part of my childhood with my daughter.

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