Oh how we love Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell! This is the book that is starting to fall apart because both Pickle and Bo adore this small lift-the-flap story, and I love all of the wonderful developmental benefits it provides. For those who may not have read it-the premise is simple- a boy writes to the zoo to send him a pet, and they proceed to send him lots of animals that, for various reasons, don't make the cut... until, of course, they send the perfect one.
This book enhances development in our tiny readers in so many ways. First, opening the flaps is fabulous to build fine motor skills in little fingers. Second, before you open each flap, you can play a knock-knock game with each package-- you knock first, then have your child copy you. This mimicking and imitation is one of the first steps in communicating and language development. Third, to further promote speech and language, be sure to make animal noises on each page (though if anyone can tell me what a giraffe says, I'll give you a cookie!) Try to get your child to make these noises too- these sounds simply combine consonants and vowels and are powerful tools to help your child learn to speak. Finally, because the text is repetitive, older readers will, after only a few readings, be able to "read" the story to you. Can't beat anything that will promote early literacy and a love of storytelling! This is a must have, especially for those of you with infants and young toddlers.
Want the book? Get it here! Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell. *This is an affiliate link.