Cover image for Last night at the zoo
Last night at the zoo
Garland, Michael, 1952-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 x 29 cm
The animals escape from the zoo and go out for a night on the town in this rhyming picture book.
Reading Level:
AD 710 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 46595.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Author Notes

Author and illustrator Michael Garland was born in Manhattan in 1952. He studied art at Pratt Institute and soon after graduating, he sold his first illustration to True Confessions magazine. He has written or illustrated over 40 books.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Bored-to-tears animals mastermind a zoo breakout so they can have a night on the town in this engaging, silly rhyming tale, filled with eye-popping, electronically generated illustrations. The grizzly bear dares the animals to do something about their situation. After putting their beaks and snouts together, they come up with a plan that hinges on dimwitted humans. The seals and walruses scarf up change from their pool, and the monkey steals the night watchman's keys. Soon they're dining at a French restaurant (where they all eat like animals), dancing at Club Boogie, and, finally, slurping sodas at Joe's Diner. In the end, they're hatching a new scheme. A wacky frolic with a satisfyingly subversive attitude toward grown-ups and a lesson in the rewards of planning ahead. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

In light-hearted, rhymed couplets, Garland (The Mouse Before Christmas) introduces a group of animals who escape from the zoo for a festive night on the town. After seals and a walrus dredge up coins from their pool to fund the escapade and a monkey snatches keys from the dozing night watchman, the menagerie raids the zoo's lost-and-found in hopes of finding a way "to blend in with the crowd." Featuring a 3-D quality and hues that range from luminous to neon, Garland's funky computer art reveals these adventurous critters decked out in a range of wildly patterned shirts and sporty hats. Their first stop is a French restaurant, where the scene highlights some slapstick flourishes: the necktie-clad seal balances a martini glass on his snout; a banana peel lands on the alligator's head. The accompanying verse bounces with humor: "Imagine the noise as they devoured their meal,/ All that roaring and howling√Ąand barks from a seal!/ Then the waiter got angry and started to shout./ He flipped his toupee and threw them all out." After boogying at a nightclub and snacking at a diner, the revelers return to the zoo, where murmurs of a subsequent escape plan surface. Readers will hope this animal crew pulls off another clever caper. Ages 5-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-During a boring night at the zoo, the animals decide to break out and have an adventure. After the seals collect change from the bottom of their pool and the monkeys snatch the keys, the creatures raid the Lost and Found and don colorful hats and shirts. They board a bus and head for town, where they have dinner at a French restaurant and end with a night of dancing at Club Boogie. Garland's palette includes electric reds, blues, and greens that contrast nicely against the dark night. However, the electronically drawn animals appear fuzzy and unclear on some pages, yet their plaid-patterned shirts and printed ties stand out sharply on others. One wordless spread emphasizes the frenzy at the dance club. Although the illustrations are sometimes intriguing, readers will find the rhyming text and predictable plot pedestrian. Stick with Margret and H. A. Rey's "Curious George" books (Houghton) or Peggy Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla (Putnam, 1994) for real monkey business.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.