December 27 – Visit the Zoo Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-cover

About the Holiday

After all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s nice to just take a relaxing outing with the family. What better place to go than the zoo, aquarium, or other animal park? Don’t let the cooler (or cold) weather deter you! The meandering paths, opportunities to learn about the world’s creatures, and chance to get some fresh air all add up to the perfect way to spend the day!

There’s a Giraffe in My Soup

By Ross Burach

It seems that in such a fine establishment ordering the Special of the Day—Sonia’s Tomato Soup—would be easy, but for one little boy it is anything but. “Excuse me, waiter?” The boy politely summons the red-tuxedoed attendant, who is polishing crystal to a diamond sheen. “There’s a giraffe in my soup!” Offended, the waiter pokes his verrrry long nose in the air and says, “That simply cannot be.” But when he comes nose to teeth with said errant ingredient, he speeds off with the giraffe on his tray through the kitchen door.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-waiter-and-giraffe

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Ah, a new bowl of soup is delivered post haste! But as soon as the bowl is set on the table, a little frog pokes its bulging eyes over the rim. Only it’s not a frog, but an alligator with its chompers ready to reverse the dining experience. It’s even seasoning the poor boy with pepper! Once again the waiter comes to the rescue.

Before the waiter even lifts the cover from the next bowl of soup, a suspicious blue trunk emerges. The elephant flails in the small bowl of soup as the boy yells for help. “Save her! Save her! Please hurry!” Before the elephant drowns, the waiter is on the scene. The next bowl fares no better. “Yak! Yak! Yak!” the boy shouts. “Yuck? Yuck? Yuck?” the waiter thinks, insulted by the young food critic. But no, indeed a hairy, horned yak has invaded the soup.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-waiter-feeding-giraffe

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Bowl after bowl is delivered and bowl after bowl the boy encounters a walrus (that balances the chair and the boy on his nose), an ostrich (with its head in the soup), a koala bear (shhh…it’s sleeping), a snake (burp…it swallowed the boy!), and a whale (well…you can imagine). The bruised and sweating waiter slumps on the table with his last offering. “Here, huff at last. Your soup, huff roaring with flavor.”  “Lying? Lying? Lying?” the waiter hears from the boy’s chair. He has had enough and loses his cool. “Sure, I made a minor gaffe with the giraffe. Maybe I overlooked a whale. But when it comes to taste, I am a professional. Do not dare accuse me of…LION!! Why didn’t you say something!”

Trying to tame the lion with his platter and a fork, the waiter runs for the kitchen. He returns bandaged and on crutches to reveal to the boy that there has been a mix up. It seems the zoo was sent the restaurant’s food and the restaurant was sent the zoo’s animals. The little boy is magnanimous and ready to let bygones be bygones. “Let’s skip the soup. Maybe dessert?” The waiter agrees.

He wheels out the dessert cart to present “one mousse…with a cherry on top!” And while the whipped cream and sprinkles look appetizing, the hooves and antlers? Not so much. “Never mind!” says the boy. “I’m eating somewhere else!” He quickly hops on his Big Wheel tricycle to follow the parade of animals on their way back to the zoo.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-lion-and-alligator-eating

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Just as it’s impossible not to laugh at the perennial favorite restaurant joke—“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” / “What’s a fly doing in your soup?” / “The backstroke”—There’s a Giraffe in My Soup creates giggles on every page. Ross Burach creates a great comedy team in the little boy who only wants a bowl of soup and the snooty waiter who aims to please. Their dialogue crackles with puns, misunderstandings, and witty banter. Mixed in to the recipe are the creatures—some clueless, some dangerous, and some just out of their element—that act as the catalyst for the animated facial expressions and frenetic action that propel the story. Vivid colors, a variety of typography, and some of the cutest zoo animals ever complete the entertaining effect.

There’s a Giraffe in My Soup is sure to be asked for again and again and would be a very welcome addition to any child’s library.

Ages 4 – 8

HarperCollins, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062360144

Learn more about Ross Burach and view his illustrations on his website!

Reader! There’s a book trailer in this blog post!

Visit the Zoo Day Activity

 

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-animal-soup-game-2

In the Soup! Animal Card Game

Play this fun and easy game to fill your bowl with a variety of animals!

Supplies

Directions

  1. Print out the bowl and playing card templates, one of each for every player
  2. Color the cards and bowl if you would like to
  3. Roll the die to see who goes first
  4. Each player takes turn rolling the die to collect animals to fill their bowl:
  • 1 = Elephant
  • 2 = Giraffe
  • 3 = Seal
  • 4 = Lion
  • 5 = Alligator
  • 6 = Whale

The first player to fill their bowl with all six animals is the winner

Picture Book Review

August 8 – Happiness Happens Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-cover

About the Holiday

The aim of today’s holiday is to give you a chance to “admit you’re happy.” A smile or laugh at some of the absurdities of life as well as a true appreciation for the good things all around us makes each day better. So find your “happy place” and giggle along with today’s book!

There’s a Giraffe in My Soup

By Ross Burach

 

It seems that in such a fine establishment ordering the Special of the Day—Sonia’s Tomato Soup—would be easy, but for one little boy it is anything but. “Excuse me, waiter?” The boy politely summons the red-tuxedoed attendant, who is polishing crystal to a diamond sheen. “There’s a giraffe in my soup!” Offended, the waiter pokes his verrrry long nose in the air and says, “That simply cannot be.” But when he comes nose to teeth with said errant ingredient, he speeds with the giraffe on his tray through the kitchen door.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-waiter-and-giraffe

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Ah, a new bowl of soup is delivered post haste! But as soon as the bowl is set on the table, a little frog pokes its bulging eyes over the rim. Only it’s not a frog, but an alligator with its chompers ready to reverse the dining experience. It’s even seasoning the poor boy with pepper! Once again the waiter comes to the rescue.

Before the waiter even lifts the cover from the next bowl of soup, a suspicious blue trunk emerges. The elephant flails in the small bowl of soup as the boy yells for help. “Save her! Save her! Please hurry!” Before the elephant drowns, the waiter is on the scene. The next bowl fares no better. “Yak! Yak! Yak!” the boy shouts. “Yuck? Yuck? Yuck?” the waiter thinks, insulted by the young food critic. But no, indeed a hairy, horned yak has invaded the soup.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-waiter-feeding-giraffe

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Bowl after bowl is delivered and with bowl after bowl the boy encounters a walrus (that balances the chair and the boy on his nose), an ostrich (with its head in the soup), a koala bear (shhh…it’s sleeping), a snake (burp…it swallowed the boy!), and a whale (well…you can imagine). The bruised and sweating waiter slumps on the table with his last offering. “Here, huff at last. Your soup, huff roaring with flavor.”  “Lying? Lying? Lying?” the waiter has had enough and loses his cool. “Sure, I made a minor gaffe with the giraffe. Maybe I overlooked a whale. But when it comes to taste, I am a professional. Do not dare accuse me of…LION!! Why didn’t you say something!”

Trying to tame the lion with his platter and a fork, the waiter runs for the kitchen. He returns to the boy bandaged and on crutches to reveal that there has been a mix up. It seems the zoo was sent the restaurant’s food and the restaurant was sent the zoo’s animals. The little boy is magnanimous and ready to let bygones be bygones. “Let’s skip the soup. Maybe dessert?” The waiter agrees.

He wheels out the dessert cart to present “one mousse…with a cherry on top!” And while the whipped cream and sprinkles look appetizing, the hooves and antlers? Not so much. “Never mind!” says the boy. “I’m eating somewhere else!” He quickly hops on his Big Wheel tricycle to follow the parade of animals on their way back to the zoo.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-there's-a-giraffe-in-my-soup-lion-and-alligator-eating

Image copyright Ross Burach, courtesy of rossburach.com

Just as it’s impossible not to laugh at the perennial favorite restaurant joke—“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” / “What’s a fly doing in your soup?” / “The backstroke”—There’s a Giraffe in My Soup creates giggles on every page. Ross Burach creates a great comedy team in the little boy who only wants a bowl of soup and the snooty waiter who aims to please. Their dialogue crackles with puns, misunderstandings, and witty banter. Mixed in to the recipe are the creatures—some clueless, some dangerous, and some just out of their element—that act as the catalyst for the animated facial expressions and frenetic action that propel the story. Vivid colors, a variety of typography, and some of the cutest zoo animals ever complete the entertaining effect.

There’s a Giraffe in My Soup is sure to be asked for again and again and would be a very welcome addition to any child’s library.

Ages 4 – 8

HarperCollins, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062360144

Learn more about Ross Burach and view his illustrations on his website!

Reader! There’s a book trailer in this blog post!

Happiness Happens Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-animal-soup-game

In the Soup! Game

 

Play this fun and easy game to fill your bowl with a variety of animals!

Supplies

Directions

  1. Print out the bowl and playing card templates, one of each for every player
  2. Color the cards and bowl if you would like to
  3. Roll the die to see who goes first
  4. Each player takes turn rolling the die to collect animals to fill their bowl:
  • 1 = Elephant
  • 2 = Giraffe
  • 3 = Seal
  • 4 = Lion
  • 5 = Alligator
  • 6 = Whale

The first player to fill their bowl with all six animals is the winner

July 19 – It’s National Zookeepers Week

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-the-opposite-zoo-cover

About the Holiday

Every year more than 180 million people visit zoos and aquariums in the United States. Caring for the animals that live in these zoological parks, maintaining the facilities, and educating guests about the scientific facts and personal stories of the animals under their care is more than just a profession for zoo keepers—it’s a passion! Today’s holiday raises awareness of the day-to-day work of zoo keepers who protect and preserve the world’s species.

The Opposite Zoo

By Il Sung Na

 

The Dark of twilight has descended on the Opposite Zoo and all the visitors are gone. But the clever monkey finds his door Open! He creeps out to explore the zoo by night. Two animals sit amid the tree tops. The owl is Awake, while the panda hangs suspended in the branches, Asleep. The lion, having a final stretch before snoozing, is Hairy, but the hippo taking a late dip is Bald.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-the-opposite-zoo-interior-art-owl

Image copyright Il Sung Na, courtesy of ilsungna.com

The Tall giraffe, munching leaves, towers over the trees as well as the Short pig who is feeding her piglets. The monkey plays peek-a-boo with a Shy iguana as it climbs a rock to watch the Bold peacock fan his beautiful tail feathers.

The tiger, with his Soft fur, is intrigued by the Prickly hedgehog, and the Black seals frolic in the pond while the White swans float majestically above. The monkey then hitches a ride on the tail of a Fast cheetah, leaving the Slow sloth to meander on its way. Oh those Noisy monkeys! Are they bothering the Quiet turtle?

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-the-opposite-zoo-interior-art-tiger

Image copyright Il Sung Na, courtesy of ilsungna.com

The prowling monkey has had a long night of fun, but now the sun is Bright. He hurries back to his tree just in time for his door to Close—because now the Opposite Zoo is Open!

The Opposite Zoo combines several concepts—opposites, animals, and a search-and-find element—into a fun romp for young readers. The story is appropriately simple and serves as the frame for Il Sung Na’s stunning paintings: The fiery lion, tiger, and cheetah crackle with orange energy. The owl is a midnight blue tapestry, and the peacock’s tail is as graceful and intricate as a fine Asian fan. Na’s vibrant colors are set against delicate, softly hued backgrounds. Readers will love following the silly monkey through each picture and pointing out his shenanigans.

The Opposite Zoo is a wonderful choice as a new baby gift or for youngest children’s libraries.

Ages birth – 5

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-the-opposite-zoo-interior-art-zoo

Image copyright Il Sung Na, courtesy of ilsungna.com

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2016 | ISBN 978-0553511277

View more artwork and books by Il Sung Na on his website!

National Zoo Keepers Week Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-opposites-crossword-puzzle

Opposites Attract Crossword Puzzle

 

Some words go hand in hand even though they’re different. Find the words that make pairs fill in the blanks of this printable Opposites Attract Crossword Puzzle