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Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo

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This lively and lyrical jaunt from actor and author John Lithgow comes with a CD of his celebrated song! Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do, Never play music right next to the zoo. They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird, Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard. A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage a This lively and lyrical jaunt from actor and author John Lithgow comes with a CD of his celebrated song! Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do, Never play music right next to the zoo. They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird, Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard. A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage and play the instruments themselves in this hilarious picture book based on one of John Lithgow’s best-loved tunes. This package includes a CD of John and an orchestra performing the song!


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This lively and lyrical jaunt from actor and author John Lithgow comes with a CD of his celebrated song! Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do, Never play music right next to the zoo. They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird, Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard. A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage a This lively and lyrical jaunt from actor and author John Lithgow comes with a CD of his celebrated song! Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do, Never play music right next to the zoo. They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird, Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard. A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage and play the instruments themselves in this hilarious picture book based on one of John Lithgow’s best-loved tunes. This package includes a CD of John and an orchestra performing the song!

30 review for Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Accompanying his family to an outdoor concert, a young boys falls asleep during the performance, and dreams that the animals from the nearby zoo break out of their cages, storm the stage, and take over the musicians' roles. His younger sister wakes him as the family is leaving, and the boy realizes that the madcap scenes he has been witnessing were part of his dream. Or were they...? Although actor and children's author John Lithgow has released quite a few picture-books at this point, many of th Accompanying his family to an outdoor concert, a young boys falls asleep during the performance, and dreams that the animals from the nearby zoo break out of their cages, storm the stage, and take over the musicians' roles. His younger sister wakes him as the family is leaving, and the boy realizes that the madcap scenes he has been witnessing were part of his dream. Or were they...? Although actor and children's author John Lithgow has released quite a few picture-books at this point, many of them quite well-received, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo is the first I have happened to pick up. I'm glad I did, as I found it quite enjoyable, with a rollicking, rhyming text that would make for an excellent read-aloud, and colorful, entertaining illustrations. The book comes with a CD of Lithgow performing the song whose words make up the text, and although I was not able to listen to the song, I would imagine it can only enhance the experience. Recommended to anyone looking for fun picture-books with rhyming text and a musical theme.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    my 5 year old son LOVES this one. he must have listened to the CD as he went to bed for a whole month.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    I like this book because the elephants and baboons also play music right next to the zoo and they chase away everyone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vernon Area Public Library KIDS

    At a neighborhood musical concert, the musicians get the surprise of their lives. The animals at their local zoo love music also and take their turn on the stage playing some tunes! Reviewed by: Debbie Hersh, Circulation, Vernon Area Public Library

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Sztym

    John Lithgow does not disappoint with his book 'Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo'. The accompanying CD, containing Lithgow singing the story is very entertaining and a nice addition. Once you listen along with the CD you will re-read the story with the same cadence and musicality. The story is light and fun and the pictures are bright and entertaining. Plot Summary: One evening a young boy attends a concert with his family in the park, right next to the zoo. As the musicians start to play t John Lithgow does not disappoint with his book 'Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo'. The accompanying CD, containing Lithgow singing the story is very entertaining and a nice addition. Once you listen along with the CD you will re-read the story with the same cadence and musicality. The story is light and fun and the pictures are bright and entertaining. Plot Summary: One evening a young boy attends a concert with his family in the park, right next to the zoo. As the musicians start to play the animals in the zoo next door break out of their cages and head for the band shell. The animals chase away the musicians, borrow their instruments and formal wear, and play the music they have been listening to. Does the audience run? Of course not! They are enraptured by the lovely sounds of the animal orchestra!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    Encore! Your kids will beg for this again and again - there's no question about it! (I want to hear it again, in fact.) And hearing it is really how this must be done. Actor John Lithgow narrates and sings his way wonderfully through this entirely entertaining book. The illustrations, the comical story, the music - it's really so much fun! Can't recommend this enough. Ages: 3 - 8 **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down Encore! Your kids will beg for this again and again - there's no question about it! (I want to hear it again, in fact.) And hearing it is really how this must be done. Actor John Lithgow narrates and sings his way wonderfully through this entirely entertaining book. The illustrations, the comical story, the music - it's really so much fun! Can't recommend this enough. Ages: 3 - 8 **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.

  7. 5 out of 5

    kelley

    I've started a monthly kiwi-crate with my 5 year old granddaughter. Our first crate was all about music with supplies to make several musical instruments included. The lesson guide included a recommended reading list. "Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo" was on that list. I liked the story, it was very imaginative with the animals escaping from the Zoo and taking over the performance of the symphony orchestra. My 5 year old had a hard time keeping into the story however and was asking for a I've started a monthly kiwi-crate with my 5 year old granddaughter. Our first crate was all about music with supplies to make several musical instruments included. The lesson guide included a recommended reading list. "Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo" was on that list. I liked the story, it was very imaginative with the animals escaping from the Zoo and taking over the performance of the symphony orchestra. My 5 year old had a hard time keeping into the story however and was asking for a different one before we reached the end. I persevered and we did make it through. She did like the ending.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    I enjoyed this one as much as the kids did, I think. Very silly illustrations and fun well-flowing rhyme. We also got to talk about some of them animals that they weren't familiar with (bonobos, for example). "Looking at the pictures, what do you think that animal must be?" Good discussions with the kids. Didn't listen to the CD personally, so don't have anything to comment on there. Did have one kid notice that the narrator's sister was rather mean waking him up (we had a sidebar that she probabl I enjoyed this one as much as the kids did, I think. Very silly illustrations and fun well-flowing rhyme. We also got to talk about some of them animals that they weren't familiar with (bonobos, for example). "Looking at the pictures, what do you think that animal must be?" Good discussions with the kids. Didn't listen to the CD personally, so don't have anything to comment on there. Did have one kid notice that the narrator's sister was rather mean waking him up (we had a sidebar that she probably apologized once he was awake). Used in a music-themed storytime. Would also be a silly addition for one on zoos or zoo animals.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Ellis

    When a little boy attends an orchestra concert at a bandstand next to a zoo, some pretty weird things start to happen. Animals escape from their cages and replace the musicians. The result is a massive amount of chaos and cacophony. The accompanying CD of the author telling the story helps bring the book to life. When I use this book for library story times, I play the CD. The kids enjoy swaying to the music, and are entertained by the author's singing. Kid's will love the humor, and the vibrant a When a little boy attends an orchestra concert at a bandstand next to a zoo, some pretty weird things start to happen. Animals escape from their cages and replace the musicians. The result is a massive amount of chaos and cacophony. The accompanying CD of the author telling the story helps bring the book to life. When I use this book for library story times, I play the CD. The kids enjoy swaying to the music, and are entertained by the author's singing. Kid's will love the humor, and the vibrant artwork will help give them a subtle introduction to the instruments of an orchestra. Recommended for kids ages 3-7. -Sherry Ellis, author of Don't Feed the Elephant!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Audra

    I absolutely loved this book, and CD to boot. So many children's books just get the rhyme and rhythm all wrong. JL gets it all right, plus it's educational. Teaching kids all the instruments and the animals. So fun and lively. Unfortunately, my 2 and 4 year old were totally either bored or overwhelmed by this book and walked away. Then later refused to listen to it. ?? I guess what I love isn't always their preference. I absolutely loved this book, and CD to boot. So many children's books just get the rhyme and rhythm all wrong. JL gets it all right, plus it's educational. Teaching kids all the instruments and the animals. So fun and lively. Unfortunately, my 2 and 4 year old were totally either bored or overwhelmed by this book and walked away. Then later refused to listen to it. ?? I guess what I love isn't always their preference.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    John Lithgow: a man who can rhythm and rhyme in a sea of horrid celebrity picture books and actual authors with no sense of rhyme. This is a readaloud delight, with many nice touches in Leeza Hernandez's illustrations as well (parents of different races; musicians in their underwear; a goat who eats the bouquet given to him). Be sure to listen to the CD, too, as it includes John's sung version of the book (with an extra chorus) alongside full orchestra. John Lithgow: a man who can rhythm and rhyme in a sea of horrid celebrity picture books and actual authors with no sense of rhyme. This is a readaloud delight, with many nice touches in Leeza Hernandez's illustrations as well (parents of different races; musicians in their underwear; a goat who eats the bouquet given to him). Be sure to listen to the CD, too, as it includes John's sung version of the book (with an extra chorus) alongside full orchestra.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School

    In this humorous account a young boy reluctantly attends an orchestra concert at the park with his family. Showing little interest in the concert, the boy drifts off to sleep with humorous consequences as the animals from the neighboring zoo invade the concert and take on the roles of musicians, each with their own special take on an orchestral instrument. A humorous take on outdoor concerts designed to heighten children's interest in orchestral instruments and music. In this humorous account a young boy reluctantly attends an orchestra concert at the park with his family. Showing little interest in the concert, the boy drifts off to sleep with humorous consequences as the animals from the neighboring zoo invade the concert and take on the roles of musicians, each with their own special take on an orchestral instrument. A humorous take on outdoor concerts designed to heighten children's interest in orchestral instruments and music.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    This is such a funny story! The CD went over really well in storytime, although it was a smaller group than usual and they were all sit-and-listen types. We did a little walk through the pictures before we played the CD, although I left the last few pages to be a surprise. I'll have to try it again with a bigger crew and see if it holds up. This is such a funny story! The CD went over really well in storytime, although it was a smaller group than usual and they were all sit-and-listen types. We did a little walk through the pictures before we played the CD, although I left the last few pages to be a surprise. I'll have to try it again with a bigger crew and see if it holds up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Trisha Daniel

    I thought this story was very creative. It amazes me how imaginative children can be when they dream. The little boy in this story had some incredible thoughts. He was able to take his dreams and transform them into something completely impossible. I would take his advice and never play music next to the zoo! You never know what will happen!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christine Grant

    Summer Reading 2018: Libraries Rock Boy falls asleep while listening to an outdoor orchestra. Suddenly all of the animals take the instruments away from the musicians and everything goes haywire. I am giving this 4 stars because I loved Lithgow's reading of his book. The children probably would have given it 3 stars. Summer Reading 2018: Libraries Rock Boy falls asleep while listening to an outdoor orchestra. Suddenly all of the animals take the instruments away from the musicians and everything goes haywire. I am giving this 4 stars because I loved Lithgow's reading of his book. The children probably would have given it 3 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Cute book! I gave this one 4 stars due mostly to the CD. It reminds me of a Broadway musical - while listening it is very easy to visual a musical extravaganza on stage! Fun! John Lithgow adds a lot of flavor to the music and text!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Morton

    This is such a cute book! The animals in the zoo enjoy the sound of the orchestra so much that they break out of their cages and take over the performance. This book would be good for a music class as well because the animals introduce many types of instruments.

  18. 4 out of 5

    JeTiJi

    CUTE CUTE Very clever.....loved it! Very well written and illustrated, enjoyed by both adults and kids. I had no idea that John Lithgow wrote children's books, we will definitely be checking out his other books. CUTE CUTE Very clever.....loved it! Very well written and illustrated, enjoyed by both adults and kids. I had no idea that John Lithgow wrote children's books, we will definitely be checking out his other books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I had no idea that John Lithgow write children's books too. And apparently this isn't his first...he has several. This story was pretty cute. All the different zoo animals were a lot of fun for my daughter. I thought the ending was cute too. Overall a pretty solid read for bedtime. I had no idea that John Lithgow write children's books too. And apparently this isn't his first...he has several. This story was pretty cute. All the different zoo animals were a lot of fun for my daughter. I thought the ending was cute too. Overall a pretty solid read for bedtime.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    A new favorite by Lithgow! I love his musical based books, and this rhyming is superb! A boy going to see an orchestra play near the zoo and falls asleep and dreams that the animals from the zoo come to the orchestra and take over the instruments to play.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bree

    i like the rhyming, which we don't find in books that much anymore. it came with a cd we were not able play, no equipment so i can't comment on that. i thought it was cute, my 7 year thought it was too long. i like the rhyming, which we don't find in books that much anymore. it came with a cd we were not able play, no equipment so i can't comment on that. i thought it was cute, my 7 year thought it was too long.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elle Markov

    This book was a little eh for me. Although all the craziness of the animals interacting with the orchestra players was very exciting for the little kids in the reading group. Rating 3 out of 5 [email protected]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    The CD that accompanies this book with John Lithgow singing this book is MAGNIFICENT! Cheerfully done, I cannot wait to use this book along with the CD in a storytime. Hip, hip HOORAY!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    3.5 stars cute!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was MARVELOUS. It came with an audio cd and John Lithgow reads/sings the story. It was a delight. The book just isn't the same without him reading it. Loved this book!!! This book was MARVELOUS. It came with an audio cd and John Lithgow reads/sings the story. It was a delight. The book just isn't the same without him reading it. Loved this book!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This one's a book on CD. Might be fun to play it for ST This one's a book on CD. Might be fun to play it for ST

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mariella

    looove John Lithgow's books! looove John Lithgow's books!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    An engaging book in its own right, but with the accompanying CD with the music and the reading by John Lithgow, it reaches new heights.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Yates

    Pure silliness. I recommend reading it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paula Hollohan

    Very fun John Lithgow story. Always a delight but why does the hippo always have to play the tuba? K-3

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