Night Zoo Keeper – The Elephant of Tusk Temple

Authored by Joshua Davidson
Illustrated by Buzz Burman
Published by Oxford University Press

Night Zoo Keeper – The Elephant of Tusk Temple Will Rivers is the Night Zoo Keeper. His job is to protect the Night Zoo, keeping it safe from The Voids who want to plunge it into darkness. Will has accidentally created a portal, which for this instalment of his adventure, takes him to the Tusk Temple. Here, with his friends Riya and Sam ( the Spying Giraffe) he tries to find Maji, the time-travelling elephant. But the Voids are also at the Temple and want to destroy everything. Can Will and his friends face the trials and still stay brave?

This book is in the fourth in the series which began with The Giraffes of Whispering Wood. The characters are fun, and each chapter contains action and an exciting cliff hanger which will make children want to read on. The graphic-like illustrations help bring the characters to life. The series is supported by a website which contains lots of free resources to support writing. It reminded me of a younger version of the Charlie Small series with the end of each book finishing with the arrival of the main characters in a different land. Although each book can be read as a standalone, it may be better to start with the first book, which explains how the characters become travelling companions.

I would recommend Night Zoo Keeper – The Elephant of Tusk Temple as a class read and an ideal adventure story to share with younger readers in lower junior classes. With the free resources from the website, it could be used for a group intervention or a whole class text to support writing.