Author Spotlight: Tommy Morrow

Three people and a book.
For Black History Month 2022, the L.A. Zoo was proud to partner with children's author and educator Tommy Morrow, shown here with CEO and Zoo Director Denise M. Verret (L) and wife Kimberly Morrow (R), who sings that song that accompanies the book "Just Take a Walk in the Zoo."

In his book Just Take a Walk in the Zoo, author Tommy Morrow (along with illustrator Demar Douglas) show the wonder and magic of connecting with wildlife. “They tell the story of two African American children who go on an adventure through their local zoo,” says CEO and Zoo Director Denise M. Verret in her foreword to the book. “As [the children] greet each animal, their joy at discovery and innate inquisitive nature leads them on an imagination-filled journey.”

In honor of Black History Month 2022, the L.A. Zoo partnered with Morrow on a unique campaign that could be enjoyed by all—online and at the Zoo.

On our site and social media channels, we shared an interview between Morrow and his friend Verret, where they discussed the inspiration behind the book and the value of equal and inclusive access to nature. The author’s wife and collaborator, Kimberly Morrow, who sings the song that accompanies the book, also made a special appearance.

At the Zoo, guests were invited on “an imagination-filled journey” of their own, with the self-guided Just Take a Walk in the Zoo Tour. From February to March 2022, eight book-inspired signs were displayed at various habitats throughout the Zoo. Designed to let imaginations run wild, the signs featured Douglas’ delightful book illustrations and presented interesting animal facts followed by idea-sparking questions.

To get people excited for their Just Take a Walk in the Zoo experience at the L.A. Zoo, we produced and shared on our website and social media channels a music video for the song that accompanies the book. The video stars Morrow’s grandchildren, who inspired the book.

Morrow’s own creative journey with the L.A. Zoo continues. His next planned book will be about the various jobs at the zoo, spotlighting diverse people and the range of talents that contribute to the world-class animal care, education, community, and conservation efforts that the L.A. Zoo is known for.

The book Just Take a Walk in the Zoo is available for purchase at the Zoo’s International Marketplace and our online store.

Author: Emily Marrin