Liberty Municipal Library

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Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo

In this engaging read-aloud, a little girl stumbles, drops her ice-cream cone, and gives a frustrated cry, despite the narrator's warning to "Never, EVER shout in a zoo-/because if you do-/anything might happen." Before long, the hapless heroine is being pursued by a scary bear, a moose on the loose, escaped apes, and an ever-growing menagerie of other animals. Released from tanks and cages, the creatures exact their revenge and gleefully surround the child, locking her (and some other humans) in a pen. The last page shows the girl, who is now standing next to an exhibit of a frozen dinosaur, stifling another shout. Observers are drawn into events on the first page, where the watercolor-and-pencil illustrations simply but effectively introduce the locale and then quickly propel the action forward. Presented against broad white backgrounds, the expressive animals project a benign ferocity tempered by baffled amusement. The bouncy text makes use of alliteration, repetition, and rhyming phrases as the narrator speaks directly to the bumptious child ("Uh-oh! Don't say I didn't warn you"). This lighthearted romp disguises a slightly scary concept, as captive creatures successfully break their bonds in an otherwise familiar and "safe" setting, but the mischievous tone and predictable developments mitigate the fear factor. - Booklist

Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo