Friday, April 17, 2015

Children's Picture eBook Review and Author Interview: Hey Zoo Animals Wake Up Already! Written by Ryan and Clarence Rector Illustrated by Charlotte Hogg

Illustrations: 5.0 Stars 
Cover: 4.5 Stars
Storyline: 5.0 Stars
Total: 5.0 Stars

My Review: PJ loves animals--so he is excited to go to the zoo. They visit the three bears first--who are all sleeping. In fact, every place they go, the animals are sleeping, and the explanations for why they sleep today, gets more and more complicated. Good thing zoos are open more than one day!

Illustrations: Lovely illustrations with little humorous details that really add the story (look for the signs from the animals asking them to be left alone to sleep). Fabulous job Charlotte Hogg. An enthusiastic 5 stars!

Storyline: I won't spoil the surprise, but the reason all the animals are tired has to do with a blonde and a bowl of porridge. This story makes an adorable connection to a well-known fairy tale, and it was very enjoyable to read aloud. Well done! 5 stars

Author Ryan Rector

This book was co-authored by Clarence Rector and his third grade daughter Ryan. Ryan chose to be the one to answer all the questions, which adds an element of fun to the "when you were younger" questions. Ryan is the youngest author we've ever features on our blog. Congratulations Ryan!

Here is their book trailer (including an appearance by Ryan herself):

Author Interview:
Valerie Harmon: What is your favorite animal at the zoo? 
Ryan Rector: The giraffe.

VH: Were you like PJ when you were young? 
RR: Not really but when I wanted to persuade my parents to get me a dog. I read lots and lots of dog books.

VH: What are your 3 favorite books? 
RR: James Patterson Middle School Series, Junie B. Jones Series, and Dear Dumb Diaries.

VH: If you were an animal, what would it be?  
RR: A giraffe so I can see everything that is going on.

VH: How did you come up with the story? 
RR: My dad is a speech language pathologist and he was working with a kid that had gone to the zoo and most of the animals were sleeping.

VH: Why do you write? 
RR: I’m not sure…I just like to make up stuff and create.

VH: How did you connect with your illustrator? 
RR: My dad connected with Ms. Hogg on the Guru website.
A Hogg Illustration
Charlotte Hogg, Illustrator

VH: What advice do you have for people who want to write children’s books? 
RR: The advice that I would give is that marketing is the hard part so be prepared for that. My dad has taught me a lot about that.

VH: What are your 3 favorite children books? 
RR: The Giving Tree, I’m not a Vampire I just suck my Thumb (also written by Ryan & Clarence Rector), and Fancy Nancy.

VH: What authors influence you the most? 
RR: Well, perhaps my writing buddy, my dear old dad [Clarence Rector] and Barbara Park

VH: What advice do you have for young readers of your book? 

RR: Have fun making up stuff!

The Rectors can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook.

~Reviewed by Valerie Harmon


  1. Hi Ryan,

    I really enjoyed reading your answers to Valerie's questions. And I can see that you and your dad are doing a good job on marketing because your book trailer is so cute. I especially loved how even your dog was sleeping. I have grand kids who will enjoy your book. Thanks for sharing!

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