‘At the Zoo I See’ is a board book for preschoolers. Clean white pages feature naïve, child-like paintings of a number
of zoo animals, presented with great humour and visual appeal. Each painted image is imbued with a sense of joy
and delight as the reader is introduced to a ‘prowling quoll’, a ‘surprised lion’, a ‘grinning gorilla’, a ‘curious wombat’
and a ‘devoted elephant’, as well as a macaw, a jaguar, an anteater and a cassowary. The descriptive text stretches
the child’s vocabulary and encourages word play, while exploring emotional responses in the animals that young
children will identify with.
The quirky images have an engaging textural quality, with colours providing the basic shapes and black-ink outlines
adding detail and expressiveness. The book features a mix of native Australian animals and more exotic creatures,
reflecting the usual mix found at a zoo. This is a perfect passing parade of creatures, presented with great child
In 2018, ‘At the Zoo I See’ was longlisted for both the CBCA Book of the Year Awards (Early Childhood) and the
Australian Book Industry Awards (Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year) and shortlisted for the Speech
Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards (Birth to 3 Years).
Joshua Button is descended from the Walmajarri people of the East Kimberley, and he grew up in far north Western
Australia. Mentored by Robyn Wells, an art teacher, Joshua has also produced ‘Joshua and the Two Crabs’
(Magabala Books 2016) and Steve Goes to Carnival’ (Magabala Books 2016). Joshua works part time as an Aboriginal
teaching assistant in Broome.‘At the Zoo I See’ is the first book in the ‘Young Art’ Board Book series showcasing young Indigenous artists.
Series: Young Art