Books and magazines: Petting zoos | Books and reviews


There seems to have been an explosion of pandemic-themed novels over the past couple of years, both historical fiction and dystopian. While many books focus on life through a pandemic, KS Covert Children’s zoos takes place 10 years later and examines humanity’s collective post-traumatic reaction. It’s been 10 years since a virus dubbed Henny Penny swept the world and the government issued a back-to-work mandate. Writer, journalist, Lily hasn’t had face-to-face contact in 10 years since Henny Penny arrived and now has to return to the office. The world has changed since the virus, including mask and glove wearing mandates. Skin-to-skin contact is illegal, clothing must be made of an uncomfortable material that the virus cannot cling to and of course the days of clubs and dancing are long gone. When Lily is tasked with investigating the rise of illegal petting zoos, she realizes how important skin-to-skin contact is to our overall well-being. What follows is Lily’s personal journey to let go of the anxiety she has accumulated over the past 10 years.

Undoubtedly, being a book about people fondling each other, the novel has an erotic element to it. That being said, it’s not overdone graphically and it’s all tasteful. Lily’s journey is compelling, and Covert delivers a well-crafted story that allows the reader to grow alongside Lily. I was afraid the book would give me anxiety as it examines a post-pandemic life, but I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.

Children’s zoos by KS Covert (Dundurn Press) is available now.

Meredith is a Disney-obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book. Follow her on Instagram.

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