The Trouble with Zoos

Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos by Kes Gray
illustrated by Garry Parsons (cover illustration by Nick Sharratt)

The blurb: Daisy loves surprises! Especially special birthday surprises – like a trip to the zoo! Who’d have guessed a rhino could do so much wee all in one go! Who’d have imagined an elephant tooth was that heavy! Trouble is, the biggest surprise is yet to come.

All the Daisy books are super popular in my library. Last year, I couldn’t keep them on the shelves and Grade 2 were the biggest fans.  I held onto Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos just to see read ‘her’ opinion of zoos. There is a special inscription to Colchester Zoo so I assume this is where Kes Gray found some inspiration.

Here is a Daisy-ism about lions:

The trouble with lions is they lion down too much.  At least zoo lions do. You can watch monkeys for ages because they never stop swinging around or climbing on tyres or scratching their bottoms. But lions don’t have any ropes or tyres to play with. All they have is about two rocks.

They always look really puffed out though. Except you can never tell why. Telly lions are always racing after zebras and stuff, which would definitely puff you out because zebras are really fast runners. But zoo lions never seem to do anything. Apart from twitch their tails. If you ask me, all zoo lions seem to do is lion down all the time and blink a lot,

And they’ve got flies on their face. Me and Gabby counted thirteen flies on daddy lion’s face…

Daisy is a very funny character and she is obviously a bit hit with my students. She has an ‘inquiring mind’ and hopefully encourages children to question what they see. Why shouldn’t a whale be kept in a zoo and why are zoo bins always overflowing with rubbish? I laughed aloud at her plight with the zoo adoption scheme. A great twist in the story.





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