When a little boy discovers he has won the chance to run a zoo he is pretty excited. But the zoo is very strange; when he gets there the zookeeper seems in an awful hurry to leave, and warns him of the fierce tummy rumbles of the mysterious Squirgal before dashing off on his holiday. The little boy is horrified to find the enclosure is in a terrible mess, and whilst he gets down to some work the defiant monsters break out! He must retrieve each strange beast, and when he gets to the terrifying Squirgal he has to prove that being a zookeeper means showing the animals who is boss.
Amy Sparkes’ text is a lovely rhythmic verse that is sharp and to the point. The story could inspire some creative monster-designing, and the ‘stand up and assert yourself’ message is a nice surprise. The illustrations provided by the consistently brilliant Sara Ogilvie are great fun and each strange monster is beautifully imagined. Colours are loud and page space is used inventively. It’s a pretty perfect picture book and will be adored by little monsters and their keepers.