Earlier this year (May) my two kids were introduced to the world of the Night Zookeeper. They both read the first book Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood, loved it and immediately started working on the website. They loved the whole idea of a Night Zoo – a place where animals roam free with no cages and where two children help them fight against the voids. Absolute hit with both my kids (I wrote a review of the first book and the website here – Night Zookeeper). My son enjoyed it so much that he asked me to contact the publisher and ask if they would send us the second book for a review as soon it was ready. They kindly agreed and we received Night Zookeeper: The Lioness of Fire Desert.
As soon as the book arrived my son read to cover to cover. I have honestly never seen him spend the whole day reading – he only took a break from reading to go swimming and then as soon as we were back from the pool he picked up the book and continued reading it again.
And guess what – he is already asking me when he can read the third book in the series Night Zookeeper: The Penguins of Igloo City(I think it is only going to be published in Jan 2019).
So why is this book such a hit with my son ? It is an adventure story but it is not scary. The story includes talking animals – they are real little characters – he really adores Sam the spying giraffe. And the second book includes a seaplane – which is a big hit with my son.
My son is seven years old and the story is interesting but a manageable read for him. He could get lost reading the story to himself without needing my assistance – which is important for him as he likes the independence.
What did I like about this book ? Well for starters my son sat and read it cover to cover. Win Win right there !!!
But there is more to it. The book is written in the same style as the first one. Will, Riya and Sam need to go and help some other animals in trouble (this time there is a Lion Pilot and a Flamingo Doctor). The whole idea of the Night Zookeeper stories lends itself to one where the kids can get involved, the kids can create their own stories for Will and his friends, they can come up with new adventures and new interesting animals for them to meet. I LOVE THIS about the story. I LOVE that the kids can use the two existing stories as springboards for their own stories. They can take the exisiting stories, adapt them, borrow ideas and build on those ideas to create their own masterpieces.
For us both books have been fun stories to read but they have also sparked the kids imagination and spurred some creative story telling.
Oxford University Press kindly sent us a copy of the Lioness of Fire Desert after my son requested a copy in exchange for me writing a review.
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