Sunday, 24 January 2016

Night Zookeeper and the Spying Giraffes Book Review

Shortly before Christmas Ben received a very special signed copy of a book called Night Zookeeper and the Spying Giraffe by Joshua Davidson. Ben who is 6 years old and in Year 1 was instantly drawn to the book, loving the look of the cover and it's name, he wanted to know what it was all about and who the Spying Giraffes are so we got stuck in straight away.


The Story

The World of Night is in trouble and the new Night Zookeeper is the only one who can help! Will he be able to recognise friend from foe and keep his creativity alive in the face of evil? Join the Night Zookeeper as he meets a Spying Giraffe, a Time-Travelling Elephant and a very unusual squirrel. Together they will use the power of imagination to journey deep into the Night Zoo and fight the evil of Nulth.

Our Verdict

This is the first proper reading book that Ben has attempted as up until now he has been used to reading the more picture heavy Biff and Chip style books. I loved how it instantly started sparking his imagination. He liked how in Chapter One, the boy, Tom Rivers was the same age as him and you could tell the descriptive language of the story was pulling him into it's world of magic and adventure and he wanted to keep reading.

Descriptions such as the one of the basement (p. 4) "with low ceilings that always smells of tea and biscuits" and the different types of lamps to be found there, "Some are tall and thin, others are short and squat" are fantastic, not only do they set the scene but the use of aliteration and adjectives reinforce some of the work Ben is currently doing in English at school. We were able to discuss it and it definitely ties in nicely to his coursework.

We read the first few chapters together before I had to return to the boring world of household chores however it wasn't long before Ben had picked up the book again himself and started reading. I was impressed with how it kept him engaged and it has definitely fed into his love of books and given him more confidence when it comes to independent reading.

Boys and girls will love reading this book, it is full of magic and adventure that will spark their imaginations and parents will be impressed with the writing style and how it keeps their child engaged. Both Ben and I definitely recommend this for young readers aged 6+.

Night Zookeeper - More than a book

The Night Zookeeper is more than just a book though, it is about reading, writing and allowing children to express themselves through using their imagination. This video below explains more about reaching out to UK schools.


Personally I am really excited about the prospect of getting Ben's school involved with the Night Zookeeper and I plan on talking to them shortly about it so fingers crossed they will want to get on board. Having looked at the free online resources I am confident that Ben and his classmates would enjoy the activities available while it would inspire them to improve their reading and writing in a fun and engaging way. In fact Ben has already being drawn into the magical world of the Night Zoo which was evident in his english homework this weekend when he decided to write about the Time-Travelling Elephant and the Night Zoo.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Night Zookeeper and the Spying Giraffes in exchange for a review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

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