Librarian: Sarah Lawton, youth services librarian at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury
Book: ZooZical, written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown
Age range: 2 to 6
Lawton's summary: The zoo animals are grumpy because the cold winter weather is keeping children from visiting. But a baby kangaroo and a very small hippo sing and dance in such a catchy way that all the animals get in on the act.
Why it's hot: It's been a runaway hit here in Middlebury, says Lawton, because of its memorable rhymes and cast of characters. It's the only book I know of that manages to rhyme the word 'karaoke,' she says. In fact, a group of kindergartner readers spontaneously made the book into a skit recently and performed their own ZooZical.
Why kids will love it: What captured me about the book from an early-literacy standpoint is the combination of colorful characters and amazing rhythmic language, says Lawton. It really helps kids get ready to read.
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