Heart shapes of various shapes, colors and sizes create 20 different animals. Michael Hall has a background as a graphic designer so his illustrations are bold, clever, and very eye-catching. It's the kind of picture book that quickly inspires students to create their own animals from heart shapes.
The text is written as a collection of simple similes written in rhyme. Here's the introduction to give you an idea:
My heart is like a zoo--(turn page)
eager as a beaver, (turn page)
steady as a yak, (turn page)
hopeful as a hungry heron fishing for a snack.
This is the time of year when many teachers are gearing up for high stakes state standardized testing. It's common to teach various forms of figurative language such as similes, metaphors, personification, and so on. Because of its very simplistic style, My Heart is Like a Zoo is best used as an introductory text for teaching similes.
If you are looking for other exemplar books, you might check out my blog post about the best children's picture books for teaching similes.
Valentine's Day is a supercharged exciting holiday for students. It's always nice to have some resources on hand that can channel some of that excitement into a learning opportunity.
Although somewhat slow moving, there is a cute little trailer showing the animals morphing from one animal to the next at myheartislikeazoo.com.
Happy Valentine's Day!