Cover image for Zooman Sam
Zooman Sam
Lowry, Lois.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
Physical Description:
155 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Four-year-old Sam's appearance as a zookeeper at his nursery school's Future Job Day leads him to a number of exciting activities and discoveries, including reading.
Reading Level:
620 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.1 4.0 35631.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.8 7 Quiz: 20379 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



It's Future Job Day at Sam's school, and Sam knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up-a zookeeper, just like Zookeeper Jake in his favorite picture book. His mother and big sister, Anastasia, help Sam create a memorable costume-so memorable that Sam insists on wearing it long after Future Job Day has passed and the rest of his classmates are back in their regular clothes. Encouraged by Mrs. Bennett, his teacher, Sam embarks on a lengthy project to teach his preschool class about azookeeper's responsibilities, and along the way learns just how difficult a job teaching is. As always, the patient and loving Krupnik family stands by as Anastasia's irrepressible little brother struggles with a set of nearly impossible goals. Children will delight in this latest story featuring the precocious and irresistible Sam.

Author Notes

Lois Lowry (nee Lois Ann Hammersberg) was born on March 20, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was educated at both Brown University and the University of Southern Maine. Before becoming an author, she worked as a photographer and a freelance journalist.

Her first book, A Summer to Die, was published in 1977. Since then she has written over 30 books for young adults including Gathering Blue, Messenger, the Anastasia Krupnik series, and Son. She has received numerous awards including: The New York Times Best Seller,the International Reading Association's Children's Literature Award, the American Library Association Notable Book Award Citation and two Newberry Medals for Number the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1993. She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Brown University in 2014.

The Giver is part of a Quartet of books; it is the first book, followed by Gathering Blue, messenger and Son. The Giver has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America, some of which have adopted it as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have prohibited the book's inclusion in classroom studies. It was also made into a feature film of the same name released in 2014. Lois Lowry also made the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2016 finalists in the author category.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. In the third book in Lowry's series about Anastasia's spunky little brother, Sam Krupnick really comes into his own: his dream of becoming someone special (Chief of Wonderfulness) comes true when he learns how to read. His nursery-school classroom is the setting for much of the story, and Lowry has preschool dynamics down beautifully--from the patient and loving but harried teachers to the energetic kids, in tears one moment, giggling delightedly the next. Her setup is fresh and funny as well: the baseball caps Sam wears as "zooman" (there wasn't enough room to put "zookeeper" on his Future Job Day costume) do more than promote sports teams and identify the animals zookeepers care for; they reinforce Sam's blossoming reading skills. Lowry gets everything about Sam just right. Joyous, grumpy, sad, surprisingly delightful by turns, he's hard to resist; and he knows his loving, warmly drawn family is behind him all the way. The ease with which Sam confronts some fairly complicated language at the close is a bit of a stretch, but his surprise and pride at being able to read will strike a chord among readers, and his wholly childlike trials and tribulations will make wonderful read-alouds. --Stephanie Zvirin

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4 Four-year-old Sam Krupnik longs for recognition and a moment in the spotlight. Fortunately, he has an understanding and patient family so that when he decides to be a zookeeper for Future Job Day at his nursery school, his mother stitches up a uniform and his older sister, Anastasia, provides 30 hats, each with an animal's name on it (Cubs, Gaitors, Lions, etc.), donated by her friend's sportscaster father. Sam also has an understanding teacher who uses the boy's lengthy presentation to discuss one animal each day and to read an appropriate book. In the process of choosing his hat for each day and talking about the animals, Sam has learned to read, and impressing others doesn't matter that much any longer. Another visit with the Krupniks is time well spent, for they are uncomplicated, funny, and unpretentious. A few black-and-white drawings are scattered throughout and add to the fun. Great as a read-alone, or as a read-aloud to younger children. Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.