Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood by Joshua Davidson

Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood

Written by Joshua Davidson
Illustrated by Buzz Burman

9+ readers   11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: computer game style animal adventure guaranteed to spark the imagination

A whole new world is waiting for Will, one where he has a special role to play, new friends to make, and some bullying creatures to confront! It’s hidden next to Will’s painting of an elephant, and seems to be populated entirely by animals. Will quickly makes friends with a giraffe called Sam who explains that, as the Zoo Keeper of the Night Zoo, Will’s role is to protect it from the scary Voids – environmentally destructive robotic spiders. With help from Sam and his friend Riya, Will rises to the challenge. Short enough to suit even reluctant readers and packed with illustrations this lively, satisfying adventure has lots of appeal. It’s written by the creators of, a great site which inspires many thousands of young people to invent and write their own Night Zoo stories. ~ Andrea Reece


Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood by Joshua Davidson

It's late at night when Will Rivers slips into the zoo to add the finishing touches to his mural. As he adds the last lick of paint a portal opens and he's transported to the world of the Night Zoo, where an incredible adventure awaits. From the creators of, a website that makes learning fun and inspires creativity.


This is a brilliant book and my daughter loved reading it - For more reviews visit * Toppsta * This is a delightfully original and amusing story, with characters who feel contemporary in a classic adventure setting * BookTrust * Davidson perfectly balances imagination, pace, imagery (both literally and figuratively) and narrative for his target audience * The Book Bag *

About the Author

Joshua Davidson

A Q&A with Head Night Zookeeper, Joshua Davidson

1) Head Night Zookeeper is one of the best job titles we’ve ever heard, what does it entail?

If I told you, I doubt you would believe me. Let's just say, not all animals spend their lives eating, drinking and sleeping. The animals in my zoo also like to play games, solve riddles and design clothes. I'm very lucky because I get to live and work in a place as infinite as the imagination of a child. Their ideas make me smile and laugh at the unexpected every day.

2) The Night Zoo is a really magical place we love to inhabit, how did you create the world?

I stumbled upon the world much like Will does in the story. Whereas he was painting a purple elephant on the wall of his local zoo as part of a school project, I was just sketching in my notebook, but the world opened up to me in much the same way. Of course, I had to spend a long time exploring the world to fully understand it, but I have no doubt that the world already existed and I was just the first to stumble inside.

3) What is your favourite Night Zoo animal and why?

I have two if that is okay? The first is an animal I met when I first entered the Night Zoo. She is a Time-Travelling Elephant called Maji and she is wise, wrinkled and funny but a little sad and lonely. She is excellent at memory games but I'm not sure if that is because she has a great memory or is just travelling backwards and forwards in time to check! The second is an animal created by one of the first children to use called the Purple Octocow, which can make any flavour of milk you can imagine, especially disgusting ones. This animal was just the beginning and banana hedgehogs, honey zebra's and firefighting flameingos soon followed. But the Octocow will always have a special place in my heart.

4) What is next for the Night Zoo world?

Oh my goodness! Well, I guess you have heard that the robot Voids have invaded the Night Zoo? Conformity has invaded our creative paradise and it is up to us, yes all of us, you too, to let go of our inhibitions and set our imaginations and creativity free! We will probably need to recruit many more Night Zookeepers so get in touch and sign up to fight back!

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Book Info


192 pages


Joshua Davidson
More books by Joshua Davidson

Author's Website


Oxford University Press

Publication date

4th January 2018




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