Craig's sturdy rhymes are faithful to the rhythm she establishes, and the occasional use of basketball jargon (defined in a glossary, included along with supplemental activity suggestions) adds welcome dashes of irreverence: "Now seven ballers speed up play./ One side takes up the press./ A player goes to make a jam./ It's seal's turn to impress."
The zebras referee (of course), as a camel, monkey, and more join in the game until they have enough players, the text counting up all the while. When they have two teams of five, they play their game...just squeezing it in before the zookeeper makes her rounds...The aftermatter-basketball glossary, math activities, and information on endangered animals-makes this a solid-enough purchase for classrooms.
At the end of the day when the zoo guests leave, a polar bear picks up the ball and a nightly game starts. Numbers and basketball terms are seamlessly integrated into the story as the players on the court. A frog, zebras, camel, and more join the fun until suddenly they hear the zookeeper coming. Young kids will find great humor in the idea that animals are sneaking out of their cages and playing basketball. A playful concept that will have you wondering if this might just be the reason zoo animals are so sleepy when you visit. 3+
Midnight Madness at the Zoo is an exciting book about zoo animals and their midnight sneaky game. The moment I saw the title, it reminded me the movie Midnight at the Zoo and March Madness basketball season which my teacher explained, yeah it has similarity, and in interesting way. The book was fiction, and characters are zoo animals, but the role each one play suited well for their nature. Like Zebra being the referee, it matches very well like watching referee in white and black stripes and Giraffe doing offense or Frog hopping along with ball or monkey hustling the ball. The language was very simple and there were enough words and dialogue which look real. The illustrations were very bright and suits for flow the story. This book would make a good series like Midnight Madness at the Farm or the Jungle. It suits for kids who started reading, especially details and activities available in end of the book is really good one to understand the game and to test our skills. The moral of the story is Every living things likes to play So why waiting, go ahead and read it and enjoy it!!!
-Reviewed by Roshini, Age 7
"Midnight Madness at the Zoo, is a delightful children’s book that incorporates a love of basketball and animals. It’s an imaginative tale that explains why the animals at the zoo are always sleeping. If you are not a basketball buff, have no fear, there is a basketball vocabulary page at the end of the book, as well as other learning activities as extensions to the story. It also teaches counting 1-10."
As the zoo closes for the night, the animals come out to play. A delightful fun story with the absurdity of animals like the mole, polar bear, penguin, and others playing basketball. Basketball terms are used as the team builds up to 10 players. Three zebras referees and time keepers watch to make certain they finish before the zookeeper makes her rounds. Math games, basketball vocabulary, a STEM activity to build a basketball hoop with questions to design, to plan, and toj9make it, and information on endangered zoo animals supplement the text to engage “creative minds.” Elementary students love the rhyme and the illustrations of animals as players. The appeal of basketball extends the range to all elementary grades.