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My Heart is Like a Zoo

Last updated Thursday, January 30, 2014

Author: Michael Hall
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0061915106
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2014

Synopsis: A heart can be hopeful, or silly, or happy. A heart can be rugged, or snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and debut author-artist Michael Hall captures each one with a delicate touch. For each feeling, the bold, graphic artwork creates an animal out of heart shapes, from "eager as a beaver" to "angry as a bear" to "thoughtful as an owl." An accessible and beautiful debut, My Heart Is Like a Zoo is everything a classic picture book should be: honest, sincere, and speaking directly to even the very youngest child.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a heart?
•  What is a zoo? Have you ever been to a zoo?

•  eager - suggests great enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay
•  yak - a large long-haired wild or domesticated ox of Tibet and nearby elevated parts of central Asia
•  heron - any of various wading birds with a long neck, long legs, a long thin bill and large wings
•  rugged - strong and tough
•  snappy - full of life
•  bothered - upset
•  hornet - any of the larger wasps that live in colonies
•  crafty - skillful at deceiving or tricking others
•  gloomy - a sad mood
•  portly - heavy of body; stout
•  lounging - to lie in a lazy relaxed manner

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is your favorite animal in this book?
•  What is your favorite color in this book?
•  What does each animal have in common?
•  Where is the "zoo" in this book? Is it filled with animals or hearts?

Craft ideas:
•  Make paper animals to line up on a shelf like at the end of the book. Cut out lots of hearts in different colors and paste them together. Draw faces on the hearts & write the words describing that animal from the book.
•  Make the heart lion on the cover. Follow the steps on the back cover.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!