Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Lister Fielding

A Visit to the Zoo

Pages: 30 Ratings: 4.9
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Being a Lancastrian, I enjoyed Stanley Holloway’s ‘Albert and the Lion’ as a child and so resolved to attempt a monologue of my own. I chose the name Albert Ramsbottom in tribute to that earlier story, and my own tale is, in a manner of speaking, a sequel to it.

A Visit to the Zoo is based upon a true story that was recounted to me in a pub many years ago, which must have lurked in the back of my mind ever since. Something similar actually happened but I have adapted it to suit the character of Albert, the ‘hero’ of the yarn. I am almost ashamed to confess that Albert is a re-construct of myself as a boy, whilst his mother is the product of observing the adversities of parenting suffered by my own three daughters.

My wife and I took our niece, Lucy, to London Zoo, where we, too, were allowed to feed penguins. I can vouch for their voracious appetites and their complete absence of manners, together with the ready use of their beaks, and believe that this harrowing experience constitutes true in-depth research into the workings of a penguin’s mind.

I wrote the story to entertain my grandchildren, but I doubt if they enjoyed the telling as much as I enjoyed the writing. I do hope it makes you smile when reading it to your audience or yourself.

The author is retired and came to writing late in life. Although he has lived his adult years in the South of England, this story however has North of England ethos, reflecting his upbringing and his spiritual home. The story, originally intended to entertain his grandchildren, is not seeking to inculcate any deep moral values but rather to amuse and perhaps even to encourage an occasional ‘kick against the pricks’ of conformity. He too was once an ‘Albert’. 

Customer Reviews
7 reviews
7 reviews
  • Tom Renville

    Something evocative in this ode of a tale that puts it alongside clog dancing, East Lancs Road, George Formby, cotton mills, Freddie Flintoff, hotpot, Halle Orchestra, the Co-op, Gracie Fields, L S Lowry and Blackpool Tower. That unquantifiable something is the secret that explains why most adults might feel secretly envious of Albert.
    Can't wait for the sequel!
    .......and the film.

  • Philip Leahy

    A wonderful enchanting story that is told beautifully and engages the reader as the usually naughty Albert takes a trip to the local Zoo. It brings back days of the past for many as Albert visits the zoo with his unenviable reputation of being the naughty boy in the class. Told in a pacey rhythm that kept me fully involved in the story and wondering what was going to happen next. This is a lovely book, well written and appealing to children who like stories about real events rather than fantasy. I can see myself reading it to grandchildren at the end of the day before they fall asleep, leaving them with Albert's adventure. I look forward to reading more of Albert's adventures in future books.

  • June mccann

    Took me back to Stanley Holloway’s rendition of Albert and the lion. Anyone who loved that will love this . My young granddaughter picked it up , and loved it .

  • LucyPete

    An escapade told with the cadence of a good yarn shared with friends, and unexpected forays into amusing details. Albert sees an opportunity and says, Why not? Every child can relate -- and this adult loved the ending!

  • Jennifer Mikulla

    A fun book for kids. It´s got all the elements kids love i.e. being naughty, having a secret, tricking adults, plus animals and their excrements, My grandchildren were amazed that someone got a good hiding on the last page. Not something they would know about nowadays, thank goodness. The illustrations were very well done.

  • Richard Rankin

    This is an excellent book, very well written with an infectious rhythm to the prose. The story telling is endearing and the illustrations support the structure of the story. This is an ideal book for grandparents and parents to read out loud to their children. I loved it.

  • Martin Knott on behalf of Jessica age 9

    Jessica found the story very amusing and said she knew a few of her school friends who could well be an Albert.
    Initially she wasn't sure of the story being told as a poem but after 3 or 4 pages it grew on her and she liked the format.
    A couple of word checks were needed but that was good as it got her Grandad involved in her reading as he likes to do.

    If Jessica enjoys a book we usually buy more by the same author but haven't been able to find anymore by Lister Fielding.
    Will there be more publications from this author in a similar format ?

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