Once in a while, along comes a children’s book that is downright silly and fun to read… even as an adult! I recently came across one of those books: The Underpants Zoo written and illustrated by Brian Sendelbach. When I saw this book at the local library the kids laughed and squealed at the name of the book and I knew from their reaction alone that it would be a winner.
The Underpants Zoo is a very short book that targets pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children. However, I feel kids all the way up to third grade will find it amusing and funny. In The Underpants Zoo we are treated to a rhyming story that takes place in the zoo, and animals wear underpants just as we humans do! How outlandish and outrageous. We are treated to a multitude of animals, each with different underpants, and we are given explanations about why they wear the underpants that they do.
This book, while funny and great for the kids to laugh at, can really be used as a teaching tool and any book that has that as an underlying educational element is great in my opinion. Some of the things that we can learn include:
- Rhyming: The rhyming words in the book can help to develop a child’s vocabulary.
- Patterns: If you look closely at each of the underpants, patterns begin to emerge. This leads to children guessing about the different patterns, their colours, and the shapes. This is perfect for improving a child’s color and math skills.
- Colors: This is probably the best thing about the book. The illustrations are bright, vibrant and colorful, and they will easily grab a child’s attention, and improve their color recognition skills.
Speaking of the illustrations, let’s talk about the illustrator, Brian Sendelbach. His pictures are large and you can easily tell which animal is which. The pictures are done so well you could ask a young child what is happening in the story and with just the pictures they could tell you. Giving the child the ability to story tell with pictures at such a young age is a great thing. The backgrounds are also done well. Each animal’s background fits their lifestyle in the wild. The lion is portrayed as a king for example.
One thing I can say to anyone who notices this in a book store or your local library is DO NOT judge this book by its cover. You may look at the front of this book and say “Oh a book about animals in their underpants, how stupid”. Just give it a try. You will not be disappointed. If you have little ones you should really read this book to them. You will have a great time laughing and will be able to discuss a lot because of everything going on in the book. Overall I give this book a 4 out of 5.