Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Dear Zoo

Written by Rod Campbell

Illustrated by Rod Campbell

Featured Books for 3+ readers

LoveReading View on Dear Zoo

What is the perfect pet? The zoo keeps sending all kinds of animals but, lift the flap and readers will see they are too big, too tall, too jumpy, too grumpy or too scary. Sadly, each of them is returned. Finally, the zoo sends the perfect pet and everyone is happy! With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain and a whole host of favourite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child's bookshelf.  This special 35th anniversary edition is beautifully presented with extra-thick paper, shiny foiled jacket and a beautifully designed slipcase and would make a wonderful gift addition to any book collection. ~ Julia Eccleshare

** Dear Zoo at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos.
Experience your favourite children’s book come to life at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos! Celebrating 35 years since the publication of Rod Campbell’s classic storybook, ZSL is hosting an exclusive Dear Zoo experience at both its Zoos.

Arriving at London for the Easter holidays and Whipsnade for May half term, ZSL has partnered with Macmillan Children’s Books to launch the Dear Zoo experience.  Inviting families on a fantastically fun day out, ZSL invites you be a part of everyone’s favourite children’s story. Get ready to embark on an interactive activity trail, enjoy lively book readings and of course learn all about our amazing animals while seeing them up close.

For more information visit

And there are some special Dear Zoo 35 year Birthday Activity Sheets to download here.


Dear Zoo Synopsis

'I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet...' Rod Campbell's lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favourite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982. This hardback edition of the much-loved preschool classic has a jacket with shiny gold foil and slots neatly into a specially designed gift slipcase. 

You might also like the Dear Zoo Drawing and Colouring Book!

For more activities, downloads and Dear Zoo merchandise visit

Dear Zoo Press Reviews

A classic for the under fives. Daily Telegraph

Rare is the household where this book doesn't become an instant hit and long-time favourite. Independent

If you loved this, you might like these...

Antiracist Baby
Luna Loves World Book Day
Lonely Beast
Fergal is Fuming! Board Book

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509820351
Publication date: 23/02/2017
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780230747722
Publication date: 02/07/2010
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Board book

ISBN: 9780140504460
Publication date: 28/03/1985
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509820351
Publication date: 23rd February 2017
Author: Rod Campbell
Illustrator: Rod Campbell
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback
Suitable for: 3+ readers

About Rod Campbell

Rod Campbell has been creating innovative books for the under-fives for over thirty years. Best known for his classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo, he is also the creator of the much-loved preschool character Buster. Ingeniously simple with touches of gentle humour, Rod's books have withstood the test of time and are enjoyed by children, parents and teachers around the world. Julia Eccleshare, the editorial expert on Lovereading4kids says, Rod Campbell is the masterly creator of interactive books including classic tab and flap books such Dear Zoo, the story of choosing exactly the right pet. Simplicity itself in terms of ...

More About Rod Campbell

More Books By Rod Campbell

Cover for Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
Cover for Dear Zoo Snuggle Book by Rod Campbell
Cover for Oh Dear! 35th Anniversary Edition by Rod Campbell
View All Books By Rod Campbell

Share this book