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Literature / Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo

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Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo is a children's book by E.S. Raymond. The book is in rhyme, with all of the rhymes ending in "-oo" sounds.

It begins with a zoo where all the animals are sick with what appears to be a respiratory illness and the zookeepers don't know why.

The narrator then explains that the reason the animals are sick is because a sick girl named Felicity Floo went to the zoo, ignored the "Don't Pet the Animals" signs, and petted the animals with snot on her hands, which is what got them sick.

The book ends with a message to go bowling and not to the zoo.


This book provides examples of

  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Felicity's parents either failed to recognise their daughter was sick, knew she was but took her to the zoo anyway (and didn't interfere when she went into the enclosures), let her go to the zoo on her own, or she escaped without them knowing.
    • The zookeepers don't seem to notice Felicity going into the enclosures on her own.
  • Alliterative Name Felicity Floo.
  • Animal Lover: Felicity loves meeting the animals and petting them.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Most diseases can't spread from humans to animals. Admittedly, some forms of influenza can, but it's still a bit of a stretch to think that a disease exists that can infect so many different species.
    • The sick tigers were mewing. In real life, tigers physically can't meow, let alone mew.
    • Felicity is implied to be the origin of the flu because "her cold got so big that they named it the Floo". In reality, flu is caused by different viruses than colds.
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    • Felicity seemed very active for a sick kid, especially if she was meant to have the flu.
    • All the animals are said to have temperatures past 102, but there are some reptiles, who ought to be cold-blooded.
  • Artistic License – History: The flu wasn't really discovered because a little girl with the last name of Floo developed a cold which "got so big" that they renamed it. Flu, which is actually short for influenza, was discovered by scientists in pigs (not little human girls) in 1918 (and Felicity does not dress like a girl in 1918).
  • Bedhead-itis: The titular Felicity goes to the zoo while she has a cold and her hair is quite unkempt.
  • Cheerful Child: Felicity seems very happy despite her illness, petting the animals and at one point covering the zebra's eyes and shouting, "Guess who!".
  • Crying Critters: Apparently, "the hyenas aren't laughing; they're crying boo-hoo".
  • Disease-Prevention Aesop: The moral of the story is to keep your hands clean when you're sick.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: An owl is seen flying around in the daytime.
  • Downer Beginning: The story begins with the animals miserable and sick.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Downplayed when the narrator suggests going bowling and not to the zoo, as if the zoo Felicity went to is in your neighbourhood.
  • Genki Girl: Felicity is very active, especially for a sick girl— she runs around, petting the animals, and shouting, "Guess who!" to the zebra.
  • Green Around the Gills: All the animals develop a "green hue" as a result of getting sick from Felicity.
  • Gross-Out Show: The book shows a whole lot of green, snotty hand prints.
  • Invisible Parents: Felicity's parents are never seen.
  • No Name Given: Felicity is the only named character.
  • Patient Zero: Felicity was the source of the disease the animals got and the first known case.
  • Rhyming Title: The book, including the title, is written in rhymes, with all the rhymes ending in "-oo" sounds.
  • Sick Episode: Felicity is sick and she spreads her illness to the animals.
  • Sickness Equals Redness: Felicity is described as wiping her "red, runny nose" without a tissue.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't get snot on your hands without washing your hands... because if you do, animals will catch your cold/flu.