This Zoo is Not for You


Platypus steps through the gates of the zoo to a waiting Tiger. ‘A platypus! That’s strange and new. You’re meeting Panda first- go through…‘  Panda follows the path, toward Panda, who like Tiger, assumes the visitor is here to interview for a place in the zoo.

How does Platypus fare? Panda declares, ‘you don’t even like bamboo!’ while, ‘elegant and graceful’ flamingoes decide that Platypus resembles a ‘worn-out shoe.’ On Platypus goes, through deliberation, observation and refusal.

The rhyme is rich, with a fabulous array of ‘ou/ew’ sounds within a rich vocabulary. The zoo animals’ pronouncements are almost theatrical! So is their depiction, with their elongation, curls and elaborate positioning. We realise their disdain, then, seemingly too late, their awareness of their rudeness. After all, had Platypus visited to interview- really?

This Zoo is Not for You is a very satisfying, funny, complex and clever picture book. Bookwagon recommends this title and others by Ross Collins, highly.


This Zoo is Not for You

Ross Collins

(Nosy Crow)

This Zoo is Not for You, why ‘you don’t even eat bamboo‘! Then ‘you look like a worn-out shoe‘ and ‘just one hue’.
Though tiger welcomes Platypus, with a  a ‘Hello, come in. How do you do?’, like the other animals he assumes this visitor is here for the interview. However, is he? Or might Platypus have another reason for entering this zoo of unique creatures? Panda reminds Platypus that he, Panda, is ‘special, rare and famous too’, while Elephant decides that Platypus is ‘short and quite weird too’. What would you do if this was the welcome you received? What does Platypus do?
Ross Collins’ What Does an Anteater Eat? is one of Bookwagon’s favourite titles. Thereafter his work with Karl Newson, I Am a Tiger and I Am NOT an Elephant is a treasure trove of laugh-out-loud exclamation! His rhymes are assured, while his pictures are clean, rich and beautiful. While the animals may declare This Zoo is Not for You, Bookwagon has swept the welcome mat for this superb picture book!


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