Midnight at the Zoo by Faye Hanson

Midnight at the Zoo is a fantastically magical picture book by Faye Hanson, published by Templar Publishing.


Max and Mia couldn’t be more excited because today is THE day, they are going on a school trip to the zoo! The whole class are let loose, running through the zoo, eager to see the animals. The only trouble is, there are no animals to be seen. Nowhere. As the day nears its end the disappointed children start to file out of the zoo and make their way back to school.

Apart from Max and Mia that is. They’ve been so busy looking for animals they realise they have been left behind. But, this mistake is soon to work to their benefit as they discover that midnight is when the zoo wakes up. And when these animals come out to play they certainly pull out all the stops. Fireworks, lights, costumes, decorations, you name it; these animals know how to party!

Faye Hanson’s illustrations are truly magical and rich in detail, every page has so much to discover.


When night falls the illustrations really come alive against the dark, shadowy backgrounds. An amazing use of light and colours creates a real party atmosphere.


There are some wonderful examples of similies at the start of the story; “They trundle like elephants into the car. And cling like monkeys as Mum says goodbye.” And as we head in to the midnight party amazing alliteration that bounce through the pages; “Loud, laughing lemurs with lanterns alight… and pandas who prance through pagodas all night.” 

I can’t talk about this book without also celebrating the endpapers. A map is one of my favourite things to find on an endpaper and these are just incredible. A detailed map of the zoo during the day at the front of the book with the midnight zoo mapped out at the back.


It’s hard to pinpoint our favourite part of this book as it all comes together so perfectly. The combination of brilliant language and beautifully detailed illustrations make for a truly magnificent picture book full of drama and excitement.

Many thanks to Templar Publishing for sending a copy of this book for review. 


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22 thoughts on “Midnight at the Zoo by Faye Hanson

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  1. This sounds amazing! I love the colourful illustrations and there’s a panda on the front cover, which is always a big bonus in my eyes! Something about it reminds me of the Madagascar film when they are performing at the circus!


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