Ever wonder why the animals at the zoo are always so sleepy? Renee did, and her father had an answer. At night, monkeys steal the zookeeper's keys, sloths play jazz, flamingos flamenco, pelicans cater, and snakes wonder how to join the hokey pokey. By the time the visitors arrive in the morning, the animals are all tuckered out. Renee doesn't believe her father's wild tale, but dads have a way of being right about these things… This award-winning book captures the culture and charm of New Orleans and its beloved zoo with rich illustrations and playful rhyme.
The husband-and-wife team of Millsaps and Murphy, along with Clark and Kilday of the Hop and Jaunt design firm, debut with a jaunty story whose publication was funded through crowdsourced contributions. In it, they tackle a question that has plagued zoo-goers as long as there have been zoos: Why are all the animals sleeping? A girl named Renee asks her father this question during their visit to New Orleans’s Audubon Zoo, triggering a long, inventive explanation on his part—namely that the animals were up all night throwing a wild shindig. While there are a few shaky moments in the meter and rhyme of Millsaps and Murphy’s verse, it provides amusing setups aplenty: “The sea lions sometimes will synchronize swim./ There’s a costume contest and everyone wins./ The best one at limbo is the white alligator,/ and when they get hungry, the pelicans cater” (directly from their bills, which are stuffed with jambalaya, gumbo, and more). Clark and Kilday’s polished cartoons are full of entertainingly goofy details—green hippos, purple seals, and other not-found-in-nature combos are in keeping with the silly, free-spirited mood. Ages 4–8. (BookLife)