Sixty-four, sixty-four, sixty-four Zoo Lane…

64 Zoo Lane An Vrombaut Hodder Children's Books

Anyone with small children is probably humming the 64 Zoo Lane theme song now… 64 Zoo Lane is an animated series about a little girl called Lucy who lives next door to a zoo and gets told a bedtime story by the animals every night before she falls asleep. It’s often on in the bedtime hour slot on CBeebies (when Abney and Teal and 64 Zoo Lane are both on, bedtime hour is unbeatable viewing for 6pm on a weekday!)

As an adult, you could take the series too seriously and feel for the poor animals in the zoo reminiscing about their life in the jungle or savannah, but that would be just silly. And when you have characters with names like Audrey (ostrich), Reginald (lion), Herbert (warthog), and Esmerelda (snake), you know you shouldn’t be taking it too seriously!

Best of all, the series is based on a set of books by An Vrombaut whose style has been lovingly translated. There are over 100 animated episodes now, but only six original books: Georgina the Giraffe; Joey the Kangaroo; Kevin the Crocodile; Snowbert the Polar Bear; Zed the Zebra; and Henrietta the Hairy Hippo. We were sent copies of the newly reissued Georgina the Giraffe and Zed the Zebra to review, but I’ve since added the rest to our shelves – I’m not sure why we didn’t have any already.

As enormous fans of the TV programme, the books were instant hits with MG and DG. They were instant hits with me because they are not TV tie-ins, the TV series was based on these books rather than the other way around. I am one of those people who dislikes most TV tie-ins, preferring a story that makes sense and is beautifully illustrated.

For fans of the series, the lyrics of the song are printed on the inside back cover. This means I have to sing the theme song every time I read the stories but I can live with that, and my girls tend to join in. It was nice having the lyrics written down actually, because there were a couple I hadn’t worked out!

All six books are joyful to read, and are currently available at the ridiculously low price of £6.99 the set via The Book People. Because I bought all six, I’m giving away the two copies we have duplicates of. To be in with a chance of winning Zed the Zebra and Georgine the Giraffe, please enter via the Rafflecoptor widget below. Closing date is midnight Friday 28 June, open to UK addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent copies of Georgina the Giraffe and Zed the Zebra by Hachette Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

7 comments

  1. An Vrombaut

    I was delighted to read you enjoyed the 64 Zoo books. In fact the TV series existed before the books, but I take it as a compliment that you think it was the other way round :)! It’s 20 years since I created 64 Zoo Lane and animated a pilot for the TV series. I very much wanted the TV series to have that picture book look; doing picture books was always in the back of my mind. I wrote and illustrated the books myself based on episodes of the series I scripted and characters I designed, so that sets them apart from most TV
    tie-ins. In the end it doesn’t matter what came first.

    • ChildLedChaos

      Thank-you so much for the comment! Oops, I thought they went the other way around, but as you say it doesn’t matter as they exist together. The books are lovely, we read all six in one go tonight and I think my girls would happily have read more. The series is wonderful too, thank-you so much for giving the world these characters. We love them all :-)

  2. Kath V

    my girls love everything about their dad, but most of all they like spending silly time with him making up songs and dances and messing around! @kathvbtn

  3. ChildLedChaos

    Apologies to Kath V & Catherine for the seemingly random comment question – I forgot to update it from the Just Like My Dad giveaway. Now changed to an animal question! All entries still count of course :-)