By Kevin Price, Illustrations by Vicky Fieldhouse
Published KAMA Publishing, 2010 - £5.99
Our youngest book reviewers yet: Twins give Beauty Contest at the Zoo the ‘thumbs up’
Twins Mathew and Thomas, aged two-and-a-half, won’t be separated from their copy of Beauty Contest at the Zoo. ‘The book goes everywhere with them, they absolutely love it’ says Mum, Sophie. This is probably the best review this book could have.
Its large format (29cmx 24cm), wonderful drawings and humorous rhyming story will mesmerise children (and many adults!) as they follow Maisie as she organises a beauty contest for all the animals to stop them getting bored before the zoo opens. Each animal is convinced that they should win and the colourful illustrations by Vicky Fieldhouse are brilliantly crafted portraying each animal’s particular claim to fame – be it the giraffe’s long neck, the lion’s beautiful mane, or even the stink of the skunk – they all have something to show off. Maisie listens to each of their reasons why they should win before drawing her own conclusion.
The story, in fun rhyme, is cleverly understated and gives a strong message about the individuality of all wild creatures; it was written in memory of author Kevin Price’s own daughter. He chose World Land Trust to partner with so that some of the funds from the sale of the book will go to saving animals in the wild.
Beauty Contest at the Zoo will be a popular reading book on most children’s bookshelf for several years, and is an ideal ‘storytime’ book for nurseries. Youngsters will particularly enjoy hunting for the hidden extras throughout the book especially the cheeky Meerkats, who make an entertaining appearance on each page.
Hopefully this will be the first of a series of ‘Maisie’ books as it provides a wonderful launchpad to introduce a whole range of environmental topics to inspire children from a young age in a very enjoyable and entertaining way.
Beauty Contest at the Zoo is available from a wide range of bookshops and retail outlets as well as from Amazon
Kevin Price makes a donation for every book sold to the Trust’s Keepers of the Wild project.