Children's Book Review

Review: A Day at the Zoo by Lesley Berrington

This week I’ve had the absolute pleasure of reading another one of Lesley Berrington’s, fantastic, inclusive books from the ‘Hattie and Friends’ series; A Day at the Zoo. *

For those of you who haven’t yet read my reviews of her other books ‘A Day at the Park‘ and “A Day at the Farm‘, Lesley Berrington’s books are brilliant books for promoting inclusivity. Each book illustrates that children of all abilities are able to enjoy a day out and in doing so her books help children to have a positive image of disability.

A Day at the Zoo is a lovely story about a little girl called Hattie and her friend George who go on a trip to the zoo together with both their mums. George is a wheelchair user, however the story doesn’t focus on this at all. In fact, it’s not even mentioned. Through the illustrations, we learn that he is not restricted by his disability and is fully included in the day out to the zoo, as he should be.

What did we like about it?

  • Lovely Story– The story of A Day at the Zoo is wonderful. It’s a fun filled story of two children having lots of giggles together at the Zoo. It starts with Hattie’s mummy making a picnic to take with them and then goes through each of the exciting animals that they saw at the zoo. From the giraffes munching away on the green leaves to the penguins sliding into the water. The story also includes the important bits (for children) such as lunchtime and ice-cream time!
  • Beautiful illustrations– I love the illustrations by Karen Middleton. They perfectly compliment the story. They are colourful, fun and full of detail – making them ideal for young children. I particularly love her illustrations of the animals in this book, they are full of character!
  • Relatable– As I mentioned in my review of A Day at the Farm, what’s wonderful about Lesley Berrington’s books is they are made to be relatable to children. Children love to hear about things that they have also done themselves. And reading a book about going to the zoo, when they themselves may have been to a zoo, makes it even more fun. It encourages conversation and promotes communication and language skill as children are often desperate to share their stories about going to the zoo too!
  • Promotes InclusionA Day at the Zoo is brilliant for helping to promote inclusion at home or in your school. And arguably, this book needs to be on your bookshelf! We have a responsibility as parents and teachers to ensure that we help instil a positive image of disabilities for young children. It’s also incredibly important for children to see children like themselves in books and on TV to know that they are included in society and valued and its equally important for their peers to see them there too. It’s an awful thought to think there are children out there with disabilities who haven’t yet read a children’s book that has a child like them in it. Lesley Berrington’s books help to provide a positive image and understanding of disabilities for young children, hopefully ensuring this generation of children become inclusive, empathetic and kind adults.

  • Teaches children how to be inclusive of a wheelchair user– One thing that struck me about this book in particular, was how, through the hints in the illustration, children are taught ways to be inclusive of a friend who uses a wheelchair. For example, when they are sitting down for lunch, we see that they have moved the seats out of the way to ensure George can sit in his wheelchair at the table. We also see Hattie helping to push his wheelchair and ensuring he’s at the front when they are looking at the animals in the enclosures, so that he can see.

Have a look at Lesley Berrington’s Website here and buy A Day at the Zoo on Amazon here.

*Please note we were provided with a review copy for the purpose of this review and the post is sponsored. All words and opinions are our own.

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