Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book #98: My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

Image from

All the animals in this colorful and vibrant book, from the hungry heron to the silly seal are created from heart shapes. The book uses animals to express the different kinds of love we can feel, from thoughtful to brave.

Hall’s digital illustrations are precise, yet playful as he manipulates the simple heart shape into different animal forms. The rhyming text is brief and full of adjectives and alliteration.

Sing H-E-A-R-T (to the tune of B-I-N-G-O) before or after reading this book, as well as other rhymes and songs about zoos (See my post on Dear Zoo).

Count the number of heart shapes it takes for different animals and use the data to make a chart. With elementary school aged kids, split them into groups and assign each group a few different animals.

Create your own animals made of hearts. Pre-cut hearts in different shapes and colors and provide photographs of different animals. Remember that you can cut the hearts and cover up parts of them with other hearts (see the lion’s whiskers on the cover of the book). If you’d like to display the animals, use a large piece of poster board to create a landscape and glue the animals into the scene. Check out the arctic landscape featured on Story Art’s blog.

If you’re using this book for a Valentine’s Day storytime, make zoo animal Valentine’s Day cards. Check out the blogs, Preschool Alphabet and Miss Sarah’s Storytime, for two variations on this idea. I also like the popsicle stick lion puppet featured on the blog, Storytime ABC’s.


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