Imagination Library Book Activity for 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

Dolly Parton’s Imagination LibraryBOOK TITLE: 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo
AUTHOR:Eric Carle

SUMMARY OF BOOK: This book is a wordless counting book for children 2-3 years of age. The book goes through ten train carts, each with a different animal. Each page has a different number of animals to count, increasing from one on the first page to ten on the last. Download this Activity Sheet in PDF


Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

  1. Read the title and author of the book and ask the child what he/she thinks the book will be about, based on the pictures.
  2. Is your child familiar with what a zoo is? Ask “What animals might be at a zoo?”
  3. Is your child familiar with trains? Ask “What kinds of things could a train carry?


  1. As you count the animals on each page, point to them. Show how they become a train car at the bottom of the page. Count the train cars.
  2. Ask the child to make the sounds of the animals or imitate their actions. “What are they doing?”
  3. Talk about the animals: which would be in an Alaska zoo?
  4. Have your child find the hidden mouse on each page. How are the animals reacting to it?
  5. Relate the story to your child’s experiences, either with the animals, trains, zoos, etc.


  1. At the end of the book, spend time on the zoo scene: “What has happened to the train?” “What’s happening in the zoo?” “Which animal is your favorite?”
  2. Play “I Spy” on the last page.
  3. Draw train cars on sheets of paper. Can your child help “fill” the train with pictures from magazines or ones you draw?
  4. Hide pictures of animals or stuffed animals around the house. Start a “hunt” for the hidden animals.

Compliments of: Rasmuson Foundation
Created by: Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

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