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Dear Zoo and Friends

Written by: Rod Campbell
Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
Length: 1 hr

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Publisher's Summary

I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet.... 

Rod Campbell's classic story Dear Zoo has been a firm favourite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982. Now you and your toddler can listen to a dramatised version of the story and sing along with the Dear Zoo Song. Young children will love discovering the animals the zoo has sent - a monkey, a lion and even an elephant! But will they ever manage to send the perfect pet? 

Three other favourite stories by best-selling author Rod Campbell are also included in Dear Zoo and Friends: join in with all your favourite farm animal noises as you listen to Oh Dear!, join Sam and his friends at his birthday party in My Presents and help Little Bird discover her own special talent in Little Bird. Then join in with the rhymes, including nursery favourite Incy Wincy Spider

©2018 Rod Campbell (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 04-05-18

Extended versions of Campbell's picture books

One hour long, if you know Campbell's books you'll find the text extended from several of his board/novelty books. From Dear Zoo itself, to Oh Dear (Buster searching for eggs on a farm), to Oh Kitty (a lost cat), Buster's Birthday (a new boy opens presents at his party) and Little Bird (the internal book Buster gets from Mummy and Daddy) are interspersed with rhymes, songs, animal noises and a narrator talking to a listening child.

The dramatized stories are lengthened with care, with simple language that extends and embellishes the stories to aid understanding and give context, staying very true to the text and tone of Campbell's originals, and the additions are great. My 7-year-old listened over mealtimes with me, and we learned the Dear Zoo song instantly. We decided his little brother (13 months old) isn't quite ready for this yet, despite enjoying reading these books with me already: I would suggest age 2-3 will be the right age for a listener to concentrate on and understand this audiobook.

Weyman has a very friendly and clear voice for a child listener, and speaks at an appropriate pace for a young child. I did enjoy the longer stories, though I did end up feeling sorry for all the returned animals in Dear Zoo, especially the grumpy camel, who I felt may have had a good reason for being grumpy and just needed a kind owner... but that's just me.

I would have liked this to go on for longer, for more stories to be included - it's very short really at 60 minutes, and you can't read along with the originals while listening (as is often possible with children's audiobooks) but this is a great addition to a child familiar with Campbell's books, for car journeys, in our family.

This will be ready for my littlest once he's a little older, well put-together and some classic stories.

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  • Sarah
  • 26-05-18

A family favourite

This is an expanded version of the board book, plus some other stories and rhymes. Great narrator, all my kids love it.