Title: Noah Wild and the Floating Zoo
Author: Alexander McCall-Smith
Published: 3rd August 2021
Synopsis: Noah looked at Hatty.
‘Imagine having a zoo,’ he said.
It’s full-time monkey business on the high seas in this new family adventure from Alexander McCall-Smith, the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
Noah can’t believe it when he finds out his uncle owns a zoo! But the zoo is closing down, and there are animals who need homes. Before he knows it, Noah and his family are setting sail on a round-the-world trip returning the zoo animals to the places they were born.
But when they try to return one very cheeky monkey, they’re in for a whole boatload of trouble!
Noah can’t wait to see his uncle – and when Noah, his aunt and his sister are whisked away on a high seas adventure to take the zoo animals home! Tigers, kangaroos, llamas and alpacas – they all find their families in their homelands. That is, all except one cheeky monkey – Monkey Robertson. So can they get this monkey home, or will they have to keep Monkey with them?
What a fun little book this was from the fabulous Alexander McCall-Smith. Aimed at younger readers, this book is fun and whimsical and fast-paced. The action leaps off the page, and the world comes to life as the family travels in a floating zoo – travelling as we can’t do at the moment, yet it is done in a way that one forgets about that and enjoys the rollicking journey the Wild family are going on.
This book was a surprise arrival the other day, and for me, a very quick read, but I can see it being very accessible for reluctant readers and to help build literacy and reading confidence for early readers, or those emerging from school readers to a new world of literature and words. It’s also great as a read aloud or one to be read as well as the school readers as both can help children develop literacy and reading skills and a love of story.
Books like these are lots of fun and are engaging on many levels, as they can engage readers of all kinds in so many ways. Kids love stories like this that take them on fantastical adventures with tigers and other wild animals, with eccentric characters and family, and a wonderful message about endangered animals and an exploration into where some of the most interesting animals come from, and how they behave.
This book can start conversations about wildlife and their place in the world, the importance of habitat and species conservation, and what it means to have animals in the wild but also the role that zoos can play in helping achieve conservation goals and what we can do as well, so it also has educational uses across the curriculum.
A really fun and quick read.