A humorous collection of poems for children about plants and animals, illustrated with beautiful, lively line drawings.

Young children are these days overwhelmed with books about myth, magic and fantasy. Zoooo challenges that outmoded view, its aim being to act as a refreshing antidote..informing them of the real world of animals and plants ..and their interactions. 

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Zoooo: Living Poetry for Children


Zoooo - is the ninth poetry book by Hugh D. Loxdale, a book of 33 short poems about animals and plants, illustrated with wonderful line drawings by the well-known artist Rita Mühlbauer. Truly a colourful collection of verse, some humorous, many adventurous, others that will make you think. Just right for children aged five to ninety-five.


The Elephant, The Bactrian Camel, Chimps and Bananas, Brown Ringlets, Camberwell Beauty, Cuckoos Will – You Know, Bishoo, A Sea Lion, A Blackbird’s Feast, After Dark, Chips, Freckled Girl, Hiding the Rhinoceros, Lazy as a Daisy, Retiring Llamas, Tiger, The Man and the Bear, The Lion’s Dinner, The Warbler, The Warty Newt, Up and Down Birds, What do you get?, Zebras Crossing, The Goldfish, The Fly and the Kangaroo, The Guinea Pig’s Lot, Weed Fancier, The Leopard Slug, The Happy Hippo, The Adder, The Aardvark, Selfish as a Shellfish, The Giraffe

What People Say

“This collection of poems sets out to provide real information about the natural world, fun and sheer enjoyment for children. There are jokes for both child and adult to share, such as The Adder and the expression of brutal nature with A Blackbird's Feast. Or, described succinctly in The Guinea Pig's Lot, the poet reminds children that around the world customs differ and sentimentality is absent. In many of the poems observations of nature are lightly but accurately described. They are accompanied by delightful illustrations in black and white - notable and welcome difference from the multi-coloured pictures so often found in children's literature. The eight/nine years old I shared these with laughed, asked questions and also simply enjoyed them. They would be a welcome addition to a classroom poetry shelf or a private child's collection.” Bernice Froggatt, Formerly Head teacher of an Infant School and School Inspector

Zoooo… is a charming collection of poems about animals and plants from around the world, each supported by wonderful illustrations. The poems range from dark comedy through to informative and philosophical tones, all immensely engaging and accessible for readers of all ages. Reading as an anthology of the world around us Zoooo… provides new insights into well-known and some lesser known creatures, providing information that even I was not aware of. The book opens new doors of interest and acts as a fun portal into exploring the world's natural history: my favourite being The Guinea Pig's Lot. Whilst Loxdale's poems could stand alone they are beautifully partnered with Mühlbauer's artwork, each sublime with hidden gems in each. I thoroughly recommend Zoooo… to anyone, child or adult alike, with an interest in the natural world.“ Jon Cracknell, Director of Animal Operations, Longleat Safari Park 

“From the elephant to the slug, the kangaroo to the warty newt, Hugh Loxdale's first collection of poems for children includes creatures large and small from across the globe. Exquisite line drawings by Rita Mühlbauer capture the character of each of the animals that feature. Hugh's poems are written to make children giggle, marvel and wonder at the natural world, and to understand it that bit better too (including, importantly, why it's wise not to stand too close to an elephant!) It's all beautifully presented in a 7 x 7" hardback book that sits satisfyingly in the hand, light enough to hold, heavy enough to treasure.” Customer on Amazon.co.uk website, 17 June, 2013

 “My best poem was Selfish as a Shellfish, it had a good rhythm. The picture that went with it was cool. My mark out of ten was.....10/10 out of the whole book! It was awesome and I think children will love this book. I love it.” Matilda, age 8

Selected Poems

The Elephant

The Elephant is a mighty beast, 

It stands three metres high,

And if it stands upon your toes,

It’s bound to make you cry.

The Leopard Slug

The Leopard Slug is very handsome, 

Covered in smart black patches, 

Yet, as every lettuce knows, 

He very soon despatches. 

So be wary of his stealth and cunning,

Especially if your beans are running, 

Since he climbs up as well as prowls, 

Though unlike the real leopard, 

Seldom, if ever, growls. 

A Sea Lion

A Sea lion, 

Sitting on a rock by the sea, 

Got too hot in the spring sunshine 

And, in order to cool off, 

Stuck his hands in the water.

“Wow! It’s a bit nippers 

Around the flippers,”

He uttered in his gruff way.

But his friend nearby

On the same rock 

Who overheard

Stated intently: 

“Don’t be a wimp! 

You can always clap your hands 

together If you need to keep warm.”

And so once in the water, 

He did and was swiftly

Applauded by the other sea lions

As being very intelligent… 

Yet never gave due credit 

To his friend for the original


The moral of the story: 

Not all applause is meaningful… 

Or merited.