Pros: Provides pictures of animals in a zoo setting and details the color brown.
Cons: Only focuses on one color.
The Bottom Line: This is a nice book to help practice the color "brown." All in all, a cute book with nice pictures. Provides an interactice piece at the end.
Colors tend to be one of the more difficult aspects that a toddler has to learn. Whether this is due to the various shades or their interest tends to drift to the specific item that is being looked it, it just seems to take a little more effort to have them focus on the color itself. We have been using books in addition to fun "what color is this" games to help our toddler practice her color knowledge. One of the books that we have been using is Brown at the Zoo. This picture book was written by Christianne Jones and illustrated by Todd Ouren. This book is 24 pages long and measures 8" x 10" and is a 1/4 inch thick. The book can be a little big for a bookshelf if you have very limited space. It was published by Picture Window Books.
The premise of Brown at the Zoo is that they focus on the color brown and all of the items that can be found at the zoo that provide an example. Most of the examples provided are various animals that are typically found at a larger zoo. The book covers all of the following animals: bears, monkeys, lions, squirrels, kangaroos, camels and a brown eagle. Each animal is featured on its own page in which the illustration of that creature is shown. Each animal has been given a full page spread. At the end of the Brown aT the Zoo, the book does tend to gravitate to items that are not living. For example, the book describes how a broom is brown. At the end of the story, the author invites the reader to identify more items that are colored in brown. Some of the items in the corresponding illustration that can be found are a truck, tree trunk, signs and articles of clothing worn by the zookeeper. Each page of the story features 5-10 words on each.
The very first page of Brown at the Zoo explains how the difference between primary and secondary colors as well as describes what happens when you mix colors. Making brown is featured on this page as an example of color mixing. The very last page provides interesting facts about the color brown such as being found often in nature and how it is used in restaurants to entice a larger appetite. These sections are a nice thought to include in the book but I don't feel that it necessarily belonged. The level at which these sections are explained are at a higher difficulty setting and a child who is working on learning one particular color would not understand this. A child who would understand these additional sections would be incredibly bored by the remainder of the book. I appreciate the effort and the thought that went into adding these sections; I just don't feel they were very helpful. My daughter had no interest in these sections and wanted to move to the main story. These sections do not take away from the remainder of the book and it is always good to push the limits in term of education and knowledge.
The illustrations of Brown at the Zoo are fun and are featured in bright colors. There are limited details in the full page illustrations but are very clear and easily identified. My daughter enjoyed pointing out all of the animals. The "brown" items are featured in various shades to help show that even though it is not exactly the same, but is still the same color.
Since going through this book a few times, my daughter has been able to identify brown much easier and she has been able to identify a few more animals. This book is a quick read and can be completed in a few minutes.
I would recommend this book for a child three years of age or younger.