What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?


Hurrah! Oscar may have a pet. Now he has a decision. Which pet to choose…. Oscar decides to place an advertisement in the Little Bumbling News Classifieds:- ‘Could you be the pet for me?‘ He prepares for a response….

Oscar opens the floodgates. On Tuesday, he receives replies including a short, sweet, damp response from Goldie, who needs a nice, clean bowl’ and doesn’t ‘eat very much and-‘ 

On Wednesday, there are LOADS MORE, from P. Woofers, J. Brownpaws, Dash G….. The more Oscar reads, ‘the more confused’ he gets! What will he choose? Anthony, and his brother Anthony, and his 12, 359 brothers also named Anthony? Or Henrietta, best in show, with shiny hooves and smart hooves? Wile the Wolf who ‘can keep up with the pack’?

Dad exclaims, when meerkats and a gorilla arrive, ‘What did you invite them?‘ Yet as Oscar explains, more animals arrive!-  ‘What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?’

Bookwagon has looked forward to more picture books from John Kelly since Fixer the Robot. This vocabulary and idea rich title is wonderful; great fun, imaginative and fulsome. Steph Laberis’s pictures remind me of 70’s style cartoons. There’s a languor to her images that extend the story skilfully.

Bookwagon is proud to present ‘What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?’ 


What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?

John Kelly and Steph Laberis

(Little Tiger)

Could you be the pet for me? Oscar places an advertisement for a pet in the Little Bumbling News Classifieds. Which pet might respond?
On Tuesday the first replies drop through the letter box….Maybe Princess? She requires cushions, a private entrance, fresh fish, cream and chicken and no tinned food. What about Billy? He’ll eat anything from grass, flowers, hats, chairs, tyres… Loads more replies burst into 99 Ice Cream Drive, including from Olive who offers a nice long run, or the opportunity to ‘stick our hands in the sand‘. Walter Whale? Bill and Bob Beaver? Oscar is overwhelmed by response and choice!
By Thursday, the meerkats have moved in, while Kingsley the gorilla is giving Mum a lift to work. This is an animal-ergency!
John Kelly of Bookwagon favourite Fixer the Robot offers a picture book of wit, interest and complexity. ‘What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?’ is full of laughs, puns and surprises. Then there’s the decision…. Which pet will Oscar choose?


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