Book Review: The Zebra Said Shhh…

The Easter Bunny brought DC2 a paperback copy of Wandering Scientist’s The Zebra Said Shhh.  I figured I’d review it here.

The quality of the book itself is quite good.  The paper is thick and better suited to destructive little hands and mouths than most non-boardbook children’s books.  Well worth $11.25 (or $9 if it’s on sale).

The pictures are quite nice and are similar to several of our other children’s books.  I think this style that looks like cutouts was popularized by Eric Carle, though these are not as sparse and come with full backgrounds.   I especially like the parrot.  Lots of bold bright colors.

As for the story, it has a pleasant repetition and simple concepts for its target audience.  It holds the same wish fulfillment for adults that Go the F**k to Sleep does, only without the profanity.  If only saying “Shhh” worked on small human children.  There’s always the hope that books like these will build that connection.

After the excitement of breaking open plastic Easter eggs and scattering their contents (raisins) over the floor waned, DC2 was immediately drawn to the book.  Ze opened it, folded over the cover, chewed on the inside a bit (another note:  the book itself was not made in China), and generally seemed to enjoy it.  Miraculously, the book is still in really good shape.

When DC1 (age 6) woke up and started going through DC2’s loot, hir attention was arrested by the book and ze immediately read through it.  Later I noticed hir reading it out loud to DC2.  So that passed some sort of test.

In any case, I recommend purchasing this book.  It’s a good solid children’s book in every respect.  And we own a lot of children’s books.  Hat-tip to both Wandering Scientist and to X-ist publishing.

13 Responses to “Book Review: The Zebra Said Shhh…”

  1. Cloud Says:

    Thanks for the nice review! I’m glad your kids are enjoying the book. I did, in fact, make up the story hoping it would help my daughter sleep. It didn’t really, but she still likes to hear it at bedtime. I finally gave my daughter her copy (it was a birthday surprise). That was fun- I have a post about that planned, once the post-Disney exhaustion passes.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Our mother’s helpers have been trying it out too. I heard the psychology major reading through it a couple times yesterday.

      Sadly, the education major started on it, announced, “this is too long” and skipped ahead halfway through the book. (Note: It is not a long book!)

      • Calee Says:

        Oh my!
        I will admit, the page count is longer than most board books, but when I think “too long” for a read aloud, we’re talking multiple paragraphs per page, but to each her own, I suppose.
        Thanks for the review!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’ve noticed her also skipping big parts of the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” book and “If you’re happy and you know it (clap your hands)”… so I don’t think that’s saying anything about the book! The baby can definitely sit still through the entire reading, even when DC1 is the one doing the reading.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Note that the kinesiology major currently working is not having any problem with the entire “if you’re happy and you know it” song. :)

  2. familyfandango Says:

    I’m so pleased that you got your little one a book (among the other easter goodies). I tried to add some non-sugar treats into my 6 year old’s basket too, but for some reason a book didn’t cross my mind! I’ll remember this for next year…

  3. hush Says:

    We’re fans of this delightful book at Casa Hush, too. The 3-year-old feels pretty strongly that every animal is actually a “she” and corrects my reading constantly.

    “It holds the same wish fulfillment for adults that Go the F**k to Sleep does, only without the profanity.” Great minds think alike – some of the cadences I hear as I read @Cloud’s book often make me think of Samuel L. Jackson’s audio reading of Go the F**k to Sleep:

  4. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam) Says:

    We are reading this book too! The funny part is that the kid I am reading it too is the only one of my three who has slept beautifully since shortly after birth. I almost feel like I’m inviting the fates to strike me down every time I rock her for 2 minutes, put her in her crib at 7:30 p.m. and *just walk out.* 6 out of 7 nights there’s no crying. Crazy. My older two would fight bedtime for hours at that age.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Every time I say something like that I have a sleepless night that night. I’ve come to hate people who ask me if the baby’s sleeping through the night yet, especially when/if ze is.

      My pet theory is that when gifted kids get a lot of stimulation during the day, they’re more likely to not fight sleep at night. Having two big brothers probably provides a lot of stimulation during the day! Our DC2 tends to fall asleep when we do, just like DC1 did. If we’re lucky ze’ll sleep in an extra hour after we get up, but ze sure didn’t this morning. Ze seemed a little concerned that DC1 and I were heading out the door… perhaps ze thought it was Saturday already. One beautiful thing about grade acceleration is that DC1 goes to sleep earlier at night than ze ever did for preschool.

  5. Book Review: Petunia, The Girl Who Was Not a Princess | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] So if you’re holiday shopping take a look at this one.  Additionally, you cannot go wrong with Nelson’s other children’s book, The Zebra said Shhh. […]


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