Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo

By Denise Brennan-Nelson

Review by Fatima Khan, Associate Producer, ReadingWithYourKids.com

Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo is a wonderful picture book about a young boy who’s lucky enough to live next door to a zoo. Needless to say, the zoo is his favourite place to visit. He was there so often that even the animals recognised him. The animals’ sounds, from the coos and the snorts, and the squeaks and bellows, and the brays and the whistles, were music to his ears. His mother called it a symphony. Stu loved to pretend to be a conductor when he listened to the animals. But, a greedy business man, Mr. Cooper wanted to close the zoo and build a shopping mall. Once the animals learn of their fate, they take quick action to save their home. Together with young Stu, they create a wonderful symphony of animal sounds that brings in crowds of visitors and the zoo is saved.

I love the usage of Idioms throughout the book . Some Idioms are used so often we don’t give them a second thought however to fully understand the English language it is important to understand Idioms. This book does a great job in explaining as much as 40 idioms. Some of the Idioms I loved while reading this book were “He rubbed elbows with the fat cats in their ivory tower”, “knee-high to a grasshopper” & “Take the bull by the horns”. I literally laughed at the invitation sent by the lion to all the animals in idiom form which read: “Attend a high priority meeting! No monkey business! Midnight. On the dot! Lion’s Lane 1/4 mile due south as the crow flies. Mum’s the word.” At the end of the book, there was a nice list of the idioms included with the meaning and explanations of each Idiom.

This book has some gorgeous illustrations by Tim Bowers. It’s a great picture book that can be read over and over as kids love animals. Colourful and detailed pictures really stands out and is a visual treat for young readers. I would recommend this book for ages 4 to 8 year old.

This book is fun and even educational!

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