My Heart Is Like a Zoo

by Michael Hall (Author) Michael Hall (Illustrator)

My Heart Is Like a Zoo
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A New York Times bestseller!

My Heart Is Like a Zoo features bright colors, simple sentences, playful animals, and more than 300 hearts for children to count and enjoy. Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick says, Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love.

This award-winning picture book is a must-have for every young reader, who will learn that a heart can be hopeful, silly, happy, rugged, snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and author-artist Michael Hall captures each one with his bold, graphic artwork.

An ideal springboard for conversations about emotions, and for introducing concepts, math, and art projects in the classroom and at home. School Library Journal called it an outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing.

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Publishers Weekly

In his first book, Hall, a graphic designer, takes the idea of love being a many-splendored thing and runs with it straight to the animal kingdom. Using a heart shape as his core visual element, he creates a 20-member menagerie to illustrate the various facets of his affection: My heart is like a zoo/ eager as a beaver, / steady as a yak, / hopeful as a hungry heron fishing for a snack. Not every poetic conceit worksthere's a jarring quality to having one's heart described as crafty as a fox or snappy as a craband more sophisticated eyes may feel Hall could have used more variation in crafting his animals (the heart shape is used mostly as a head and some form of appendage). But children just learning about shapes will revel in these pages, thanks to Hall's masterful blending of bright, saturated colors, his posterlike compositions, and the sheer animal magnetism of the species he's chosen. Teachers will also find fodder for classroom activities when February rolls around. Up to age 5. "(Jan.)" Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1This playful, rhyming concept book invites young readers to explore colors, shapes, emotions, and zoo animals. The crisp, succinct text is carefully crafted to tell a little about each animal; "Cool as a penguin/crafty as a fox, /quiet as a caterpillar/wearing knitted socks." The story skillfully wraps up with a young zookeeper fast asleep, surrounded by his stuffed-animal menagerie, which creates a fun identification challenge at the end. This book is perfect for younger audiences with short attention spans. The bold illustrations were digitally created and feature primary and secondary colors. More than 300 heart shapes form all of the animals featured, providing a simple, clean collage image on each page contrasted with a bright background. Spreads show hippos drinking apple juice, a bothered bull with a hornet in its hair, and a coyote walking in the fog. Readers will not only be engaged in the search for the hearts in each illustration, but will also relate to the feelings that are introduced. This title will have a wide audience, whether in a classroom, library, or at home. An outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing."Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY" Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love."—Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medalist
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Greenwillow Books
Publication date
December 20, 2009
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2011 - 2011
Minnesota Book Award
Winner 2011 - 2011

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