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Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
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There are many reasons that I like this book because of the language, illustrators and the characters. The author’s use of diction allows the story to rhyme flow smoothly and can help younger children understand its concept. Throughout the story the main character, Spot who is a made up creature, thinks that he deserves to live in the zoo. This character is able to change the color of his spots as well as the shape of his physical appearance. He is able to become many other animals including a mouse and a giraffe. I like that Spot is not a distinct type of animal, yet he looks similar to a large dog or panther. The book teaches children about different types of animals and colors. For instance, Spot says he can be small like a mouse, or tall like a giraffe. Also, Spot introduces new types of colors when they appear on his coat, “Look! This is new. Blue, orange, green and violet too.” The illustrations in the book are very simple, yet eye catching. Even though the book is fictional, children can still learn about different characteristics of zoo animals, as well as identify different colors. I feel that the overall message is that, there is a place for everyone to feel included, and that everyone has their own special talents. Even though Spot is not welcomed to live in the Zoo he is still proud of his unique qualities and gladly shows them off to a boy and girl, who both doubted him at first. Spot continues to be positive throughout the story, and ends up happily finding his rightful place in the circus. ( )
  ecahan1 | Feb 14, 2015 |
This book is about an animal who tries so hard to fit in at the zoo. He changes how he looks to try and fit in, however, finally at the end of the book he realizes that he is someone special jus the way he is. This book really shows children how everyone is different in a good way. Students are able to understand how even though we are different that we all do belong together. This book is great for 5-8 year olds.
  lauramaki | Dec 27, 2014 |
A story of a spot changing animal showing off his spots by changing their colors, putting spots on other things, and even in a box to show that he should be in the zoo. However the children that he shows his tricks to tell him that he is much too cool for the zoo and that he belongs in the circus.
Personal Reaction
I love this book. It rhymes so it is so easy to stay very upbeat while reading it.
Classroom Extension
1. Read during Dr. Suess week!
2. Learn about rhyming words
  mnahardiman | Oct 26, 2014 |
“Put Me in the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is a very fun and imaginative story that captivated me. First of all, the illustrations are so wild and colorful. I love how the animal’s spots change color and shape and size constantly. This book also features that crossover effect, so that the illustrations truly fill the entire page and help make this fantasy world come to live. I also like how the lines rhyme, because it adds to the whimsical nature of the story. In the end, I think the message is about finding a place to call home where you are not only welcomed and wanted, but can also thrive to your fullest potential. The animal was not even welcomed at the zoo, so shouldn’t be worried about getting in. Instead, he was very valued at the circus, and could be himself! ( )
  ElizabethHaaser | Oct 13, 2014 |
Summary: All the animal wants to do is to go to the zoo, but the boy and girl in the story tell him that he does not belong in the zoo. Throughout the entire story the animal tries to convince the boy and girl that he should be in the zoo by showing off his tricks, such as changing his polka dot colors. After showing the boy and girl his tricks, the children decide to tell him that instead of going to the zoo that the animal should go to the circus.

Review: Robert Lopshire captures young readers' attentions through his rhythmic words and his silly ideas. The premise of the book is an animal that wants to be able to fit in at the zoo so that he can stay there with the other animals, but he is continually turned down. The animal constantly shows hi eagerness through the use of this rhythmic statement, "Oh! They would put me in the zoo, if they could see what I can do" (p. 23). This statement said by the animal is repeated through the story, which can help beginning readers to stay captivated and eager by wondering what the animal will do next.

Lopshire's central message of his book, Put Me in the Zoo, is one that tells young children that you do not need to change yourself to fit in somewhere because there is always a place for you to be yourself. The animal is constantly questioned, "why should they put you in the zoo?" and he becomes disheartened by the negative outlook of his amazing talents (p. 13). In the end the animal realizes he can take his talents to the circus where he will be loved for who he is. ( )
  Kweber8 | Sep 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394800176, Hardcover)

Illus. in color. Spot, a polka-dot leopard who can change colors and even juggle his own spots, tries to convince two children that he is special enough to be exhibited in the zoo.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A large, spotted animal discovers he really belongs in a circus, not a zoo.

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