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Chapter Book of the Month: NIGHT ZOOKEEPER The Giraffes of Whispering Wood

To mark the start of the new year, we thought we would shake up how we organise our book reviews at Along Came Poppy. So now every month we will be picking our favourite new chapter book, picture book and non-fiction read to share with you. Where possible we will try and feature new releases but from time to time we may throw in an older book that we have read for the first time. It is our way of ensuring we include a fair share of non-fiction (we do read a lot) and of course, chapter books, which we are now reading more of. We do hope you continue to enjoy our reviews and find some book-spiration this year!

Our January chapter book is the newly released Night Zookeeper The Giraffes of Whispering Wood. Written by Joshua Davidson and illustrated by Buzz Burman, this is the first in an exciting series of four books aimed at children aged 7 and upwards.

About the story

When Will Rivers is transported into the Night Zoo an incredible adventure awaits him. Bestowed with a Zookeeper's uniform and a magical teleporting torch, he's tasked with protecting the Zoo's inhabitants from the evil Lord Nulth and his army of robotic spiders, the Voids. With his friend's Riya and Sam at his side Will must unlock the full power of his creativity to defeat the evil lurking in the Night Zoo.

Our thoughts

This was incredibly different to the stories I usually read to the Mini Reviewers at bedtime. Having read the blurb, I wondered whether it may be a little scary, so I decided to read it all the way through before sharing the book with Izzie (6) and Theo (3). 

I needn't have worried as the Mini Reviewers weren't in the least bit perturbed by the idea of gunk shooting metal spiders or desert fires threatening the animals of the Night Zoo and, despite Theo being a little young to understand it all, we really enjoyed storytime together. 

Mini Reviewer, Izzie, described it as a "funny and exciting book" and "can't wait to find out what happens next." She actually had quite a lot to say about the story, so here are her highlights:

  • Will's granny is very funny. She nearly pulled her skirt down to show Will's teacher her tattoo!  - Bottom humour is always a winner in our house!!
  • Will's paintbrush is magic and turns into a torch!  - I'll now probably find her testing all her own paintbrushes!
  • I like ALL the giraffes but Sam is my favourite. I liked the part where he turned invisible! - Who wouldn't enjoy imagining an invisible juggling giraffe?!
  • My favourite character is Riya. She has silver and purple hair.  She was brave and helped Will get out of the cage. - You guessed it, Izzie now wants purple and silver hair!

We hope that gives you a little glimpse of the story but without spoiling it for you. Packed full of magical animals, this mysterious adventure series is bound to get imaginations running wild.  We will definitely be reading the next book "Night Zookeeper - Lioness of Fire Desert" but unfortunately we'll have to wait until August 2018. 

Night Zookeeper - The Giraffes of Whispering Woods is available now and you can buy it here.

Until next time... HAPPY READING!
Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx

*Disclaimer: We received a proof copy of this book from the publishers OUP for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are as always our own. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link and you can read more about what this means here.


  1. The cover is rather appealing :) I think my 8 year old would like this one #readwithme

  2. This sounds like one my boys would enjoy #readwithme

  3. Sounds a little scary for me at bedtime, but I like the idea of the zoo keepers remit.

  4. I'm looking forward to seeing your future chapter book recommendations, I'm always on the lookout for good ones. I think this one might be a little scary for my very sensitive six year old but I'll remember it for when she's older and (hopefully) braver! #ReadWithMe

  5. This sounds very entertaining! I read a lot of similar books for work. Humour is always good for getting kids interested in reading.

  6. This sounds so crazy and fun. I know G is only 3 at the mo but this is the sort of book I imagine him enjoying as he grows older too. I know I certainly would.

  7. Oooo chapter books getting reviewed now too! Well done big readers in your house! #readwithme

  8. Love the sound of this one, so many weird and wonderful things going on! Smiling at the idea that Izzie might be testing all her paintbrushes to find a magic one :) #readwithme