Great Illustrated Books

Zoo - ology

By Jo�lle Jolivet

Roaring Brook Press, 2003
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 3-8
ISBN: 9780761318941

This extravagant book by a French author/illustrator (and first published in France) contains handsome woodcuts of more than 300 animals, from aardvark to zebu, categorized by size, characteristics, and environment. Zoo-ology also has the distinction of being the biggest book I've ever reviewed. It came in its own box. You could make a very nice coffee table out of it. How kids will carry it home after they check it out of the library is interesting to consider. But, boy, do they love poring over the two dozen animals on each double-page spread.

The animals are sorted into 14 categories: Hot, Cold, Feathered, Horned, Freshwater, In the Seas, In the Trees, Underground, On the Seabed, At Night, Black and White, Spots and Stripes, Large and Small, and Close to Us All. Note that some of the adjoining categories seem to rhyme. All of the animals represented are labeled by name, though the woodcuts are not done in size proportion to each other. At the back of the book is an alphabetical glossary/index for each creature, telling a bit about it.

Reviewed by :


If you love this book, then try:

Arnosky, Jim. Wild Tracks! A Guide to Nature's Footprints. Sterling, 2008.

Collard, Sneed B., III. Animal Dads. Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

DuQuette, Keith. They Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us. Putnam, 2002.

Fromental, Jean-Luc. 365 Penguins. Illus. by Jo�lle Jolivet. Abrams, 2006.

Jenkins, Steve. Actual Size. Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Jenkins, Steve. Big and Little. Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Jenkins, Steve. Biggest, Strongest, Fastest. Ticknor & Fields, 1995.

Jenkins, Steve. Living Color. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

Jenkins, Steve. What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Jenkins, Steve, and Robin Page. What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? Houghton, 2003.

Jolivet, Jo�lle. Almost Everything. Roaring Brook, 2005.

Marceau, Fani. Panorama: A Foldout Book. Illus. by Joelle Jolivet. Abrams, 2009..

Moser, Madeline. Ever Heard of an Aardwolf? Harcourt, 1996.

Prelutsky, Jack, compiler. The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom. Knopf, 1997.

Whipple, Laura, compiler. Eric Carle's Animals, Animals. Philomel, 1989.

Critics have said

Younger children will enjoy hunting for the chameleon that can be found on each spread, which may be challenging since it changes color and posture from page to page. Adults may consult the four pages of notes written in small type at book's end to learn a fact or two about each animal. However, the text is really a supplement to the splendid illustrations.
School Library Journal
An unusual, and unusually handsome, offering.