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Connecting Kids and Animals





Parents and Grandparents Guide to Choosing Kid's Books

arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Kids’ Interests
arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Likeability
arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Eye appeal
arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Age appropriate
arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Book-toy sets
arrow.gif (162 bytes)  Length


"Reading aloud has been proven to be very important to the brain development of children," said Dr. Stever Vogler of Denver Health Services medical clinics. "It's been shown to be the single most important factor in helping children to learn to read."

Source: THE DENVER POST March 19, 1999

Kids’ Interests

Kids have a natural attraction to animals, so animal stories are a good start. But there are so many choices. We’ve found that a good way to test a child’s interest level is to let him or her see some illustrations from the book. Sometimes reading the first page is a helpful test of interest.


For kids, appeal tends to be based on memo ability and likeability.

How well do they remember the main character? Do they like the character? Sometimes the child likes the setting of the story. Examples: Australia, rain forest, ocean, farm, mountain.

Parents who have discovered the wonder of `s Childrens Books understand the value of reading aloud to their kids.

Eye appeal

Children’s books need to be designed with eye appeal if you want kids to read. There should be lots of color, friendly layouts, nice accents, good line spacing and readable fonts.

Age appropriate

Picture books tend to be read by ages of 4 to 8 or 10 years. David Lemmon, who illustrated the ZOOOO characters, chose a toy-like, cartoon-like style rather than a highly realistic treatment that older children might prefer. Kids see these toy-like characters as fun and can relate to them very easily.

Book-toy sets

Some of the most popular children’s books come with a toy. The toy can be a strong motivator for kids to experience the book because the central character takes on a personality as the story unfolds. Stories and Babies were taken to child development centers so children could participate with the books and beanies. Children like to hold and hug the toys during the story.

Action level

Children like to read stories which are vivid, descriptive and keep the momentum going. Jamie Lovejoy has a wonderful way of involving the child, because of her own intimate connection with animals and her gentle, mothering style. Rather than teach kids about animals, Jamie lets children learn from animals.


Stories range from 850 to 1500 words, averaging 1200 words. This makes about a 10 to 12 minute read, a very good length for a rest break or before bedtime. New words are introduced by putting them in a context so the child can figure out the meaning. Young or reluctant readers will enjoy having a parent, older brother or sister, or grandparent read to them. We realize this, so we tested ZOOOO Stories with adult readers to make sure parents like to read them to children. Caution! You may have to read it over and over! Eager readers will be carried into the story very quickly.


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