SLJ reviews “The Zoo Is Closed Today!”

The Zoo Is Closed Today!

The Zoo Is Closed Today!

School Library Journal has reviewed our new picture book, The Zoo Is Closed Today! written by Evelyn Beilenson and illustrated by Anne Kennedy. The review will appear in the publication's September issue. Here is what SLJ had to say:

"K-Gr 2—Following in the footsteps of many other successful 'something’s wrong at the zoo' stories, this rhyming version comically describes the ailments of the animals that Sue and John find when they walk to 'Kalama Zoo.' Their friend Pete the zookeeper explains that the zoo is closed because Edward the elephant has a cold in his nose, Freddy the fox has a sunburn, Marcel the monkey’s tail is in a sling, and Carlos the camel has hives on his humps. The kids return home disappointed and concerned but are gleeful to receive a letter the very next day telling them that the animals are feeling better. When the two come down with the sniffles themselves, the animals make a get-well road trip to their house. Kennedy’s colorful cartoons perfectly complement Beilenson’s easy read-aloud verse. Pair it with E.S. Redmond’s Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo (Candlewick, 2009) and Philip C. Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee (Roaring Brook, 2010) for an ailing animal storytime or book display." —Jenna Boles, Green County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH

Praise for our “Nightlight Detective” books from Midwest Book Review!

Mystery at the MuseumThe Midwest Book Review Children's Bookwatch calls our new Nightlight Detective Mystery at the Museum "An exciting interactive mystery for children ages 4 to 9. . . . Sergeant Sally needs the assistance of junior detectives and sleuths to finally unravel this fun museum mystery and put Herman the dinosaur's skeleton back together in time for his whirlwind tour. The fast-paced narrative and amusing illustrations plus the excitement of detecting hidden clues through use of the Nightlight Detective paper flashlight keep interest high and pages turning." The full review is available here. They also consider our Nightlight Detective Big Top Circus Mystery "highly recommended'!

9781441312280The Big Top Circus Mystery

To use the books, kids simply slide the white Nightlight Detective paper "flashlight" between each see-through page and its darker background — the clues "light up" as the story unfolds! Each book comes with two "flashlights," as well as a pocket in which to keep them safe.

Use the "flashlight" to light up the clues!


Both books are written by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by Jamie Smith.

Author Karen Kaufman Orloff ( has written seven books for children. She also writes for The Poughkeepsie Journal and teaches writing classes at Merritt Books in Millbrook, New York, for adults interested in children's publishing.

Jamie Smith ( has illustrated more than 100 books for children, as well as ceramics, toys, and  DVDs. He works in a garden studio in the United Kingdom, in the company of ''birds and bitey insects'' and a cocker spaniel named Bertie. He says his wife pops in from time to time, too.