The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day Review by Cindy West

By Catherine Ipcizade
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Tomorrow is opening day at the zoo, and everyone inside prepares with great anticipation! The monkeys are practicing their dancing and singing, while the snake sheds its skin. The zookeepers are busy tidying the park while also giving last-minute directions to the animals. The llamas are reminded that it's not polite to spit, and the elephants have to be rewashed after they disobey and roll in the mud. By the time opening day rolls around, all are ready (except for a slight nervousness on the part of the animals, as you hear mama gorilla say, "It's Zoo Day my baby, hold on to me tight").

With rhyming text and colorful illustrations, 'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day is a fun picture book for preschool through second grade. Not only is the story cute, but there is a lot of subtle information packed into the text and illustrations. For instance, the text reveals that elephants are bathed with a hose and a soft, sturdy broom, while an illustration shows that bears eat apples.

The learning continues after the story too. In the back of the book, you'll find a chart of many of the animals from the story. It tells each animal's class, what the babies are called, how much the babies weigh at birth, what we call their family group, and what they eat. Also included is a factual description of a zookeeper's responsibilities. A few "Creative Sparks" questions prompt children to give detailed answers. One such question is, "What could you do to help the animals stay healthy and active?"

That's not all. Children will have fun matching the names of the animals to their pictures in a little quiz at the back of the book. With each animal's name is a clue to teach your children even more about the animals from the book. For example, the gorilla's clue is, "My thumbs help me to grab food and to hold onto things."

There is a reference to the "yellow school bus," and you see a class of children entering the zoo on Zoo Day. But the book is so sweet and full of information that homeschoolers will appreciate it in spite of the public school mention. This book is a keeper for my little one!

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2008