Put Me In the Zoo (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

by Robert Lopshire

Board book, 2001



Call number




Random House Books for Young Readers (2001), Edition: 1st Random House Bri, 24 pages


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

User reviews

LibraryThing member savannahmcallister
This book is about an animal that has magic polka dots, and wants to be in a zoo. The zoo keepers will not allow him in, because he is too different. The animal tells the kids how he wishes to be in the zoo, and while telling them all the things he can do with his polka dots the kids discovered
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that he really belongs in the circus. I feel like I can relate to this book, because I was always the odd one out in life, and I tried so hard to fit into groups that I would never be happy to belong in. Over time I shared my talents with people who really accepted me, and found the place where I truly belonged, as the animal does. I think a good extension idea for this book would be to have the kids to share what their talents are, and where they think they belong. Another good idea would be to have a talent show to give the kids a chance to show what they can do, and give them a place where they are accepted, and allowed to be themselves.
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LibraryThing member elizabethhart
Put me in the Zoo is a comedic picture book about an animal with magical spots who wishes to live in the zoo. After revealing to two young children what his “spots can do,” the children decide that the animal would much better be placed in a circus than at the zoo. The author utilizes rhyme and
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repetition to engage young readers and teach basic word choice, sounds and colors. I found the book and its illustrations to be exciting and interesting. The animal’s name is never disclosed and invites readers to use their curiosity and imagination. Themes in the story include diversity and embracing one’s unique characteristics.
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LibraryThing member conuly
My father loved this book, and so he read it often to me. Now I read it often to my nieces. I love it all the more for the connection to my personal history.

This is a fun story (the illustrations, showing the children's reactions, are hysterical) about a critter who wants to live in the zoo, and to
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prove that he should he shows off all the tricks he and his spots can do. Eventually he goes to the circus, everybody is happy.

I will note that the zoo depicted is a very archaic, every animal in a small, unfriendly cage type of zoo; I do not think it is sensible that he'd really like to "live this way". But when it comes up as an issue, we'll talk about it. The focus of the book is really about the cool (rhyming) tricks that can be done with spots.

I will also note that the board book version of this is seriously abridged and is, unfortunately, not very well constructed. Please just get the full edition.
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LibraryThing member jessy555
Genre: fantasy. realistic fiction
Critique of Genre: I am not entirely sure what genre this book falls into. It is in a real world, but contains a character who is not even slightly realistic.
Characterization: All of the characters are relatively flat because we do not learn any previous knowledge
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about them and we don't learn much more throughout the story. The animal with spots wants desperately to be put in the zoo and shows the tricks it can do with its spots only to be told, in the end, that the circus would be better suited for them.
Media: mixed media (colored pencil; pen and ink)
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LibraryThing member mercedesromero
Dr. Seuss is easy to read for those who are beginning to read and writer.
LibraryThing member cejerry97
This is a story about a tiger who wants to live at the zoo, but the zookeepers won't let him. He has many talents, and shows them off to his friends, the children in the story. After seeing the tiger's talents, the children encourage him to join the circus! This book might be good for a unit on zoo
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animals, or just to read for fun if the circus comes to town!
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LibraryThing member dbhutch
This book is about an animal with spots who wants to be in the zoo. In the end the kids tell him with everything he can do that he should be in the circus and that is where he wants to be .
LibraryThing member seoulful
A favorite with my four year old grandson. Easy, rolling cadences and rhyming that put a smile on the face as we consider the best place to live for this unusual animal with surprising abilities.
LibraryThing member cmiller05
An animal is not allowed to join the zoo. When he shows some kids all the colors he can change to, they direct him toward the circus.
LibraryThing member bmwade
big spotted creature wants to be put in the zoo but the two kids ask him why and he starts showing them all that he can do with his spots. He can put them on the kids, or on the zoo walls, he can juggle his spots or change them colors and etc. Finally the kids tell him that its cool but that he
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doesn't belong in the zoo, he belongs at the circus!
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LibraryThing member Nataliewhite88
I actually did not like this book the way that I thought I would. I assumed because it was titled "Put me in a zoo" that it would talk about zoo animals but it did not. it was mostly about a large unidentifiable animal who could change the color of its spots and put its spots on other people and
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things. I was a little happier at the end when the two children were able to help the animal find a place where he fit in but reading about the whining animal the entire book was enough to make me not like this book personally. This book could be used to reinforce learned colors, numbers, and shapes with young students. The message at the end of the story was basically that we all have a place where where we fit in and belong.
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LibraryThing member Kweber8
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member ElizabethHaaser
“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
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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!
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LibraryThing member mnahardiman
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
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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
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LibraryThing member lauramaki
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
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able to understand how even though we are different that we all do belong together. This book is great for 5-8 year olds.
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LibraryThing member ecahan1
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,
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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.
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LibraryThing member katieloucks
Absolutely loved it!
LibraryThing member leebot
This simple rhyming book about a creature who can do clever tricks with his spots was a beloved favorite when I was a child, and now my 3 1/2 year-old grandson loves it as well. He giggles throughout and then demands "AGAIN!" The request factor is one of my litmus tests.
LibraryThing member Koralis
Those two kids were rude but my 4 year old niece loved the story.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

5.75 inches


0375812156 / 9780375812156

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