Night Zookeeper – Joshua Davidson
My youngest Bookworm has just celebrated a birthday. He frequently points out that there are no fun things to do outdoors for a January birthday treat so this year we took him to the zoo (he loves penguins).
Before I get to the bookish bit of this post I must give a huge shout-out to Edinburgh Zoo who offer Zookeeper Experiences. The Birthday Boy became a Junior Zookeeper! He fed primates and penguins, trained a cuscus and walked an armadillo. Great day out and an experience he shall never forget.
Back to the book. At the end of the day we made our way into the gift shop and stumbled upon a book launch. Hurrah. We met Zookeeper Josh (author Joshua Davidson) and while my eldest Bookworm chatted to Josh and got a book signed I got to speak with Buzz Burman (the illustrator).
Buzz explained that Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood is the first in a series of books and was only launched on 4 January….book two due in August 2017. The story features young Will Rivers – he paints a mural in the zoo and makes the elephant brightly coloured. This does not go down well and he is told elephants are grey – he has to change and “correct” the colour. Will agrees but is disheartened. However, when Will gets home and tells his gran that he had to colour the elephant grey she encourages him to return to the zoo and paint his elephant in the bright tones he originally used.
Will sneaks back to the zoo at night, paints over the grey elephant in the mural and restores his original vibrant colours. As he finishes the last brushstrokes a magical portal opens which will allow Will to cross into the world of the Night Zoo. Magical adventures await.
Buzz explained how they were touring zoos around the world to promote the stories and that each book will include short works by children (submitted online). Each book is beautifully illustrated and I am assured by the Elder Bookworm that the story is fabulous – he raced through it in record time and is badgering his brother to read it.
Published by Oxford University Press (and the cover and blurb follow) I would suggest this book would be a big hit with animal-loving kids. My eldest is 11, possibly slightly older than the target audience, as a confident reader of age 7 to 8 would have no trouble with the Night Zookeeper. But you are never too old to enjoy a good story!
It’s late at night when Will Rivers slips into the zoo to add the finishing touches to his mural. As he adds the last lick of paint a portal opens and he’s transported to the world of the Night Zoo, where an incredible adventure awaits. From the creators of NightZookeeper.com, a website that makes learning fun and inspires creativity.