The Zoo Crew Play Ball by Judy Bee and Little Pink Pebble
|The Zoo Crew Play Ball by Judy Bee and Little Pink Pebble|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The Zoo Crew learn the benefits of making an effort and working as a team in this story which will appeal most to the American market.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: July 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
On the second weekend of every month the zoo keepers plan special activities for the animals and this time the San Carlos Beavers are going to show them how to play ball. Helga the Hippo hopes that she won't have to run because all she wants to do is wallow in the mud – which would make a bit of a mess of the lovely red-and-white outfit which she's wearing. Eddie the Elephant is keen to get all the animals together to make plans and discuss strategy. Lenny the Lion organises training sessions – but Helga really isn't that enthusiastic.
Well, the training didn't go too well, but then the animals realised that they needed to play to their strengths and use them to improve their chances. Gina the Giraffe was tall, so she could see the whole pitch. Lenny and Zapper the Zebra could run fast and Manny the Monkey could use his strong arms. Suddenly the trip to Beaver Park didn't look quite so daunting.
It's an enjoyable story of the benefits of working as a team and using your strengths to best effect – and Helga learns the fun of actually making an effort. I suspect that it will appeal much more to an American audience as it revolves around a game of baseball and some of the phrases could be difficult to understand if you're not familiar with the game:
When it came to Helga's turn she surprised everyone with a bunt and Zapper proved to be the master of the fly ball.
The illustrations are pleasant but not always clear – perhaps showing an elephant, wearing shorts and braces and sitting to read a letter is something which is better not attempted. On the other hand the faces of the animals are particularly endearing.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For another animal outing we can recommend Big Blue Train by Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds
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