Reviews for Zoo Ah-Choooo

Booklist Reviews 2012 May #2
Snow Leopard is the first culprit. He sneezes just once, but it's a doozy that sets off a chain reaction. African Elephant follows with a "RRRrrr-eeeEEE-ahh-PHOOOO!!!" and a tree goes down; Hippo's sneeze erupts a mud volcano, which covers Giraffe; Giraffe's sneeze sends chunks of dried mud ("chocolaty gunk") flying. Finally, the animals' vet shows up with a cure: a superfizzy drink, which would seem to make the situation worse but doesn't. Although the plotline is fairly well worn, and the text is occasionally too descriptive ("Mud was covering the animals" is clear in the art, for example), the dramatic sound effects--set off in a larger, different color font--are sure to be a hit with toddlers at storytime. Smith's muted pen-and-ink, watercolor, and Photoshop images brim with humans and animals wearing funny expressions, and they capture the chaos well. A tiny note on the back flap invites kids to extend the fun: "Compare the zoo before and after the big ah-choooo" and spot the differences. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
One lazy Sunday at the zoo, the Snow Leopard sneezes ("Ah-chooOO!"), and the African Elephant follows suit ("RRRrrr-eeeEEE-ahh- / PHOOOO!!!"), setting off a chain reaction of noise and flying debris that the tireless zookeeper finally stops. Readers may or may not note the story's ultimate pointlessness (other than to amuse). Smith gets the mood right: equal parts mayhem and merriment.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #1
There's an outbreak at the zoo! (Of germs, that is.) A sleepy Sunday is suddenly shattered by a loud sneeze. It's a "Zoo Ah-chooOO!" The snow leopard can't help himself. Trashcans, hats and flamingos go flying. Then the African elephant feels a tickle. (An elephant sneeze is much, much worse.) She slowly lifts her trunk and lets out a "RRRrrr-eeeEEE-ahh- / PHOOOO!!!" Trees are uprooted and the fence is blown flat. How can they stop this ah-choo from spreading before the whole zoo is destroyed? Luckily, a vet comes to the rescue with "a SUPERFIZZY sneeze solution"--but not before volcanoes of mud and geysers of water are sprayed everywhere. The narrative may be old hat, but gusty splatters and loud, boisterous sneezes can't lose with the preschool set. Smith's frenetic illustrations and wind-strewn aftermath provide an extra jolt of energy to the tale. However, Mandel does throw a twist in the end; the snow leopard starts another contagious chain of events--this time one that readers may not be able to resist as well. Break out the earplugs, not the tissues, for this ah-choo–filled read aloud. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #1

Yawns can be contagious, but sneezes? They sure are in this strangely sedate offering from Mandel (Jackhammer Sam) and Smith (Stalling), in which "a sleepy Sunday at the City Zoo" is disrupted by a snow leopard's sneeze, with other animals following suit. Mandel has fun with the over-the-top sneeze sounds the animals make--the elephant's "RRRrrr-eeeEEE-ahh-PHOOOO!!!" takes down a tree and flattens a fence, and the hippo's "Kah-bah-RUMppphhhHHHH!!!" causes a mud volcano. Yet for all these outsize consequences, the brunt of the prose is overly descriptive and flat ("The Zookeeper knew he had to act. Act fast. Flamingos were floating. Foxes were fishing. The Polar Bear hung on to his iceberg"), and the quick-fix ending is unsatisfying. Smith's pen, ink, and watercolor cartoons feature wide-eyed animals, perplexed zoo visitors, and plenty of geyserlike explosions, but never really create a true sense of chaos. The book ends as sleepily as it begins, with the animals snoozing (a gag that regular zoo-goers will appreciate), and even the promise of a second round of silliness isn't enough to rescue this outing. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

PreS-K--"It was a sleepy Sunday at the City Zoo….Suddenly, something unsleepy… flew through the zoo! It was a Zoo Ah-choooo." The Snow Leopard's sneeze proves contagious, and pretty soon all the animals are sneezing, causing havoc. The Zookeeper acts quickly and calls the vet, who prescribes a "Superfizzy sneeze solution." Things quiet down, but--what is that? "A Leopard's YAWN….Did anyone hear it?" Lively pen-and-ink, watercolor, and Photoshop cartoon illustrations join with the humorous text to tell the tale with panache. The story is similar to several others, including Patricia Thomas's "'Stand Back,' Said the Elephant, 'I'm Going to Sneeze!'" (Lothrop, 1971) and E. S. Redmond's Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo (Candlewick, 2009). However, the illustrations are entertaining and each animal has a different sneeze sound, which will appeal to young listeners. For collections that do not own the earlier titles or want another sneeze book, this will be a popular choice.--Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

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