Zoo by Anthony Browne (group set, 7 books)

£44 Save £11.93

Dad, mum and two brothers spend a day at the zoo, looking at the animals in the cages - or is it the animals that are looking at them?

  • Free discussion notes available on this website. 
  • could support study of persuasive writing
  • could be read as part of an Anthony Browne author study
  • As with other polysemic books by Anthony Browne, Zoo can also work with younger and older readers.
  • 32 pages

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Zoo discussion guide


Giant, boorish Dad and quiet, isolated Mum along with their two bored, squabbling sons spend a day at the zoo, looking at animals in their cages. Could the unhappy animals be watching them and who exactly is trapped: the animals or the humans?

Reasons for selection

This is a bitingly satirical book, based on Anthony Browne's childhood memories, which won the Kate Greenaway Award in 1993. ‘Zoo’ remains a source of contemplation and debate for all ages. With a seemingly simple text, it allows readers to delve beyond the obvious and think about human behaviour, animal rights and the role of zoos in society. Indeed, Browne’s idiosyncratic, elegant illustrations can be read even more deeply than the text, providing extensive insights into his views on the nuclear family, captive animals and cages. This is an important classroom resource and a classic which demonstrates the power and depth picture books can offer us.

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