The conversation on Twitter has been interesting, as World Book Day approaches, with many parents and early years practitioners preparing sessions to mark the event. As well as those promoting it, others have been questioning the commercial aspect of it, and the relevance of the (now obligatory) costumes to reading itself. Keeping an open mind, I looked up the official website and found a range of videos for toddlers, including this one for Dear Zoo. The following is our ‘Dear Zoo game’. I prepared the parcels (each one containing a toy animal from the story) in advance, but very much left the process up to Little and focused on using the story as an opportunity to develop his speaking and listening skills.


What makes this book so popular and successful? Is it the simple plot, repetitive structure, the interactive nature of the flaps to open, the bold images using bright blocks of colour? Probably all of the above, as well as the opportunity to begin to draw ‘character’ from the most basic of details about the animals. Little loves this; his imaginary play is just developing and he was very taken with the ideas suggested by the text:

“You are naughty, Monkey”

Little also began to develop the story, adding character details:

“Here is your baby, Snake, in this pot.”

And he was adamant that we must end our re-telling of the story accurately!

“Put the puppy in the box.”


Book: FREE in Little’s Bookstart pack from the Health Visitors when he was a baby.

Toys: various- already owned.

Wrapping paper: £1

Sticky labels: £1

What books are you exploring for World Book Day? I’d love to hear your ideas!