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At the Zoo facts for kids

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"At the Zoo"
Single by Simon & Garfunkel
from the album Bookends
B-side "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
Released February 27, 1967
Recorded January 8, 1967
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:21
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Paul Simon
Producer(s) Simon and Garfunkel
Bob Johnston
Simon & Garfunkel singles chronology
"A Hazy Shade of Winter"
"At the Zoo"
"Fakin' It"

"At the Zoo" was one of Simon & Garfunkel's single releases in 1967. The song is one of Paul Simon's many tributes to his hometown of New York City, and was written for the soundtrack of The Graduate, specifically the scene which takes place at the San Francisco Zoo. However, the song was not used in the film. The song begins with Simon's short lyrical introduction in the key of A Major, but it soon transitions to the key of G Major, being a whole step down from the beginning. The narrative tells the story of a trip to the Central Park Zoo; when the singer reaches the zoo, he anthropomorphizes the animals in various amusing ways. The song was licensed in advertisements for the Bronx Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo and the Oregon Zoo in the late 1970s.

The book

In 1991, Paul Simon released a children's book titled At the Zoo (ISBN: 0-385-41771-3) which combines the lyrics of the song with the very detailed illustrations by Valerie Michaut. To make this book considered "age-appropriate" for children, Simon made changes and additions, including identifying Rum as a beaver (because the original lyric states that "the zookeeper is very fond of rum") and giving the hamsters headlights (because they "turn on frequently").

Chart performance

Chart (1967) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 16
US Cashbox Top 100 15
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