It’s GIVE-AWAY time!! Yours for the winning–1.) your very own AUTOGRAPHED copy of America’s Best Zoos! AND 2.) a MONKEY!! (your choice of a stuffed, wrap-around Douc Langur monkey OR a live, run-around Nina-monkey)*

Nina holding blog giveaways

Here’s my Amazon review of this super-cool book: If you haven’t been to a zoo lately, YOU’RE MISSING OUT. You need to get yourself a copy of America’s Best Zoos, read all about what your local zoo has to offer, and plan a trip! Then pick another zoo from the book that looks really cool, and go there too! No two zoos are alike! My family and I have been to nine zoos in two months, and each experience was completely unique–and wonderful. And America’s Best Zoos was spot-on in its summary of each zoo.

I dream of traveling the world and seeing elephants and giraffes in Africa, penguins in Antarctica, giant pandas in China and kangaroos in the Australian outback. BUT I have three young children and not a lot of money, so world travel is out for now.

BUT WAIT! Some very brilliant people have brought these amazing exotic animals right to my front door (or at least to a nearby city). I don’t think people realize how amazing it is that we get to see hippos and giraffes and giant anteaters and orangutans and lions and capybaras in THE AMERICAN MIDWEST (or wherever you live). And for such a low price!

I take America’s Best Zoos with me wherever I go. I can’t get enough of the photos and descriptions and valuable advice. Anytime I have a question about a zoo, I find the answer. I’d love to be able to check off every zoo in the book. Someday!

To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment telling me 1.) your favorite zoo and 2.) your favorite animal. I’ll draw the lucky winner on Monday, October 6. Best wishes!

*Just kidding about the Nina-monkey. I can’t bear to part with her. But the blue langur is awfully cute and soft. I know you’ll love him!

52 thoughts on “ZOOPER- DOOPER GIVE-AWAY!

  1. lorettabetty

    Yes, we want in on this drawing also.  My favorite zoo at this point is also the Columbus zoo.  That is where we have been the most.  Have not gotten to alot of others.  I enjoy most of the animals, don’t have a favorite.     Keep on doing what you are doing, that is great. 

  2. ctorlone

    I love our good ole Columbus zoo…but I really do like the Toledo Zoo because it has that underwater hippo area!  I love to watch them swim…those big “water horses”!!  As for my favorite animal…in water:  otters , on land:  the giraffe 

  3. OneFlossyChick

    My favorite zoo animal is a giraffe. They’re SO pretty and I think God is so creative and artistic to have put such a beautiful design on them.

    My favorite animal is… ummm… this is a tough one. A puppy. They’re just too stinkin’ cute to not love!

  4. Oly16

    I LOVE the Toledo Zoo!!!  It’s been a few years since I’ve been there but still my all time favorite. Favorite animals are definately the giraffe’s!

    That picture of your little one is precious!

  5. kellymae21

    My husband and I would love to take our daughter to the zoo for the very first time.  She is 16 months old.  She loves looking through her books and making different animal sounds.  We are thinking of taking her to the Columbus Zoo.  Favorite animals at the zoo…definitely the monkeys!  They are too funny to watch!    I think that our daughter would definitely enjoy it too!

  6. MlleBaroque

    Shiphrah had a brown monkey that looked just like that…its long arms and legs could be adjusted in length because they went through its body.  But then the dog got ahold of it and pulled the limbs off. I think Mama was more sad that Shiphrah, but whatever.

    I’ve actually only been to one zoo in my life…our San Antonio Zoo.  But supposedly it’s one of the best in the area.  I don’t have one specific favorite animal, but I like all of the monkeys.

  7. Hoffmom

    The Columbus Zoo. I’ve always been partial to Giraffes, although I remember being mesmerized by the Manatee exhibit once. Can’t remember for sure which zoo that was, though.

  8. jbirdbunch

    My favorite zoo would have to be the San Diego Zoo.  My husband had a week long conference in San Diego and my son and I tagged along and spent a day at the zoo, we had a blast.  My favorite animal would have to be the giraffe, with the panda a close runner up.

  9. musicaeh

    My favorite zoo would be the Columbus zoo.  I guess I like it the best because I worked there for 2 years!!  But I think that it is a fun zoo and we always make it a family trip!!

    My favorite animal would be a zebra.  I do not know why but I believe that they are beautiful animals!!  I have collected them since I was in high school.

    Thank you for your amazing posts.  I love to hear all about what you have done.

  10. sbbmom

    I really enjoyed the Atlanta Zoo.  My favorite is the Philadelphia Zoo.  My favorite animal is the koala bear, but not found in too many zoos.  I also like it when zoos have kangaroos.

  11. jenniwren130

    My favorite zoo is the Philadelphia Zoo, and if I had to pick just one favorite animal, I think it would be the koala bears. I saw one at the Philly Zoo when I was little and begged my parents for a poster of it, which hung in my room for quite a few years.

  12. mommabear72

    I love the National Zoo in DC and the Children’s Zoo at the Baltimore Zoo (betcha can’t guess where I live!  Ha Ha!)  and my favorite animal is a monkey.  I could definitely use a Nina Monkey around my house and my daughter outnumbered 3 to 1 by her brothers would agree!

  13. ahigby0214

    Favorite Zoo…any with animals!  Okay, that’s cheating, I know.  I think it’s between Bronx Zoo or San Diego Zoo.

    And animal?  Oh boy…that’s tough.  I love the water animals…like seals, dolphins, whales…but I also like the strong land animals…lions, tigers, (not bears, oh my) zebra’s…

    I like ’em all!

  14. ergirl053

    My favorite zoo (so far) is in Columbus- maybe you’ve heard of it?? My fav animal is the gorilla- I could sit for hours just watchin’ em!
    Are you sure we couldn’t borrow the Nina-monkey- she sure is cute!!

  15. hlbarger

    I’ve been to the DC zoo way back in 6th grade and it was cool from what I remember. But one of the best zoos for kids is the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo. My kids love it and actually Scott and I both really enjoy it too. Definitely able to get through it in a few hours, perfect for little ones! They are also expanding/revamping so they will be getting lions, hyenas, and you’ll be able to feed the giraffes.

    Hailey Barger

  16. stevesgurl1213

    Hey Marla!
    I have been to a few zoos. I like the St. Lous zoo. It had a cool butterfly display. Just went to the Atlanta zoo in June. That wasn’t very exciting.
    I have to be loyal to our local zoo and pick it as my favorite – Asheboro, NC. They have a couple of really cool polar bears!! They are my favorite animals to see when I go there!

    P.S. If you ever want to come this direction, we have plenty of room at our house for you to stay. The zoo is only an hour or so away! :o)

  17. Nixter77

    Nina is too cute!

    My favourite zoo is Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia (you should visit it sometime – is this getting old yet?!?!?)

    My favourite animal is the cow! They don’t have those at the zoos.

    My favourite zoo animals are the ‘monkeys’, particularly like the Spider monkeys!

    ps you all spell favourite wrong!

  18. GracefulKiki

    I only want to enter the drawing if I can have the Nina-monkey! Please!

    Kiiiiiiidding. 🙂

    OK, favorite zoo…Cincinatti. Favorite animal…Nina-monkey! KIDDING again! 🙂 FLAMINGOS! 🙂

  19. preno06

    Hi Marla…I would have to say that the Columbus Zoo is still my favorite Zoo…I have been to a few but I love it…loved it even more when I was little!  Cleveland is second.  Which one would you recommend so far?  My favorite zoo animal would have to be penguins and monkeys.  Favorite regular animal would have to be any cute smaller puppy!  This is my first time writing on your blog I usually just keep up with your facebook one but i will have to subscribe to this one as well!  Thanks for the prayers.


  20. jenhul

    Fav zoo: San Diego
    Fav animal: Giraffe – those long necks are a nice unique feature!

    The book sounds awesome! The stories have been so fun too, I am looking forward to your zoo book!

  21. bekkielynn

    I haven’t been to a ton of zoos, but I DO love the Columbus zoo! Washington DC STANK, but maybe it was just the day we went!

    favorite animal will always been the cocker spaniel. Haha…..I have one 🙂

    Favorite ZOO animals are the monkeys. They always make me laugh!

  22. hollydue

    Favorite zoo is Columbus…but San Diego is a close second!

    Favorite animal is a giraffe. Duey and I have an ongoing joke because he thinks dolphins are the world’s smartest animal (and also his favorite). I got SO sick of hearing about them that one day I announced that indeed giraffes were much smarter than a dolphin…in fact they were the world’s smartest animal. Wouldn’t you know that THE VERY NEXT DAY a giraffe at the Columbus zoo became spooked by a dropped metal food tin and jumped and ran into a wall and broke his neck. World’s smartest animal, eh? I have NEVER lived that conversation down….but giraffes are STILL the favorite.

  23. gsowell

    Favorite zoo is the Louisville Zoo because it’s close and cheap with our membership!

    Favorite animal is the giraffe, but I’ve talked about them so much lately, I’ll say the tamarin. Do you remember these?

  24. stephaniedawnbasham

    Now that I think about it, I think the only two zoos I’ve ever been to are the Columbus and Columbia zoos. Could that really be? Wow. So sad. (Only until two and a half weeks from now, that is!) The Columbia zoo is dear to my heart because it’s MY zoo, but I will have to say that the Columbus zoo is my favorite. They have the swing ride. And I LOVE the swings. 🙂

    My favorite animal is a cat. HAHAHA. Just kidding. I think it might have to be a giraffe. Or a dolphin. It changes all the time. Some previous favorites have been turtles, hippos, and monkeys. I like lots of animals.

    Can I maybe have the Nina-monkey for just a little bit?

  25. rebates

    I’ve only been to four zoos in my life, and I can only remember three.  Of those, I’d say my favorite is the Cleveland Zoo.  My favorite animals are the elephants, especially the baby ones. 

  26. Kdelayne

    I like the Columbus Zoo best.  Although there was a cool petting zoo in Australia that I liked, but I would say that official zoo is still Columbus. 

    Favorite Animal to see at the zoo – okapi .  I think that God just has a hilarious sense of humor with that animal.  It makes me smile. but I like the baby apes, too.

  27. mommashari

    I’d have to choose the two zoos I’ve spent the most time in…..Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo and Toledo Zoo.  When I was little, we always held a carnival in our backyard to raise a few dollars for MDA and “Jerry’s Kids”.  Our reward was always a complete family pass to the Children’s Zoo, and we always had a wonderful time.  Then, of course I live only twenty minutes from the Toledo Zoo and we love to take our three young one there!  My family went there at least once a summer when we were kids.

    My favorite animal is HARD….because I love them all!  I think the apes and monkeys make me laugh the most, and the big cats are the ones I watch the closest, because I love to see all the similarities between them and my little guys, Brutus and Baby Jake, here at  home!

    God bless…………

  28. ladymiss3739

    I love the Cape May Zoo in NJ.  The best part?  It’s FREE!  And it’s not a cheapy glorified farm animal zoo either. 

    Oh, and one of my favorite animals is a duck billed platypus.    

  29. tonialynn59

    I wanted Nina the monkey!!  She’s just adorable!

    I’ve not been to many zoos.  I’m not a huge fan of the Detroit Zoo.  We’ve been to Potter Park in Lansing and honestly, we loved it there.  It is small and not many animals but been there many times and had a great time each time.  During our first year of marriage we lived in CA and so I would say the San Diego Zoo.  My fav animal is the monkeys.

  30. OkinawaAna

    My favorite zoo is the Fort Worth zoo, simply because I grew up going to that zoo.  I haven’t been back in over fifteen years (at least), so it’s still huge and incredible in my mind.  And my favorite animal is the elephant.

  31. Anonymous

    Favorite Zoo is Toledo Zoo!!!! It’s only 10 minutes away and a great get away on a regular basis for this kiddos with the African Safari Train Ride!!!! Favorite animal has to be giraffe!!! They are so beautiful and unique!!!

  32. swbtsmom

    Darn your disclaimer about the Nina monkey – I was really wanting in on that one! My favorite zoo? Hmmm – I have 3 – Awesomeness Category: San Diego Zoo, hands-down. Awesomeness-in-a-Day Category: San Antonio Zoo. Proximity to the Animals Category: Okinawa Zoo – almost reach-out-and-touch distance to the lions, hippopotamus, and others, and you can touch the giraffes (see my d-i-l’s xanga at OkinawaAna for that) — animals AND terror! Favorite animal? Giraffe – I’m jealous of anyone or anything BORN over 6 feet tall.

  33. blessedmommy08

    oooo….pick me, pick me!

    I think my favorite zoo is a toss up between Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo and Cincinnati. The Ft. Wayne Zoo just holds a special place in my heart because of the pleasant family memories and then Cincinnati, well, it’s where I got engaged!

    My favorite animal is the dolphin and elephant. They are both just so beautiful in their own way. Although I LOOOOOOVE any animal really!

  34. jennikim

    cute photo! i love orangutans. of the zoo experiences that i remember, i would have to say that Binder Park (in Battle Creek, MI) is my favorite. of course, nothing compares to the Lion Park i visited in Ethiopia or the safari in Kenya- but those aren’t zoos.

  35. der_lila_Stern

    I have not been to very many zoos in my life.   Although, there have been promises of the Berlin zoo next time I visit my friend in Germany!     So for now, my favorite zoo is most definitely the Philadelphia Zoo.  I have wonderful childhood memories of the Treehouse – hatching in the eggs and the magnetic rings!  (If you guys are going to make it out to the Philadelphia zoo, I will TOTALLY meet you there and hook you up with whatever the zoo doesnt!  Sorry I cant offer accomidations.

    My favorite animals have always been bears.  Any kind!  As a kid visiting the zoo, I think the white tigers were my favorite though!

    And since the Nina monkey isnt up for winning, hopefully I will be able to share a zoo experience with her!

  36. YoYoYoder

    I have only been to 3 zoos in my life, but I don’t really remember any of them very well except the Columbus Zoo so I pick that one! Many great family memories there. My favorite animal is a giraffe–so unique and gorgeous pattern. It’s like half horse, half long-neck dinosaur!!! And those crazy long purple tongues!

  37. Anonymous

    Hey Marla,
    I guess I can settle for a stuffed monkey instead of Nina – but she is a cutie pie!! 🙂 My favorite zoo……..is the Columbus Zoo? The only other zoo’s I’ve been to were: The Cincinnati Zoo and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. My memories of the Cincinnati Zoo are fading with each passing day – I was very pregnant with Grace at the time and just remember lots of up-hill walking. Tampa’s zoo was decent though. I’m sticking with Columbus. My favorite animal has always been Monkey’s (my baby boy also share’s my obsession of the cute little critters).
    Hope I win 🙂
    Jenny L.

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