Wild Tales 2020

Come listen to a story, meet some of the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors and even get a free book while supplies last.  Storytelling, face painting, crafts and special play stations will be set-up on Zoo grounds. Tales begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.

During Wild Tales everyone gets the discounted school rate to visit the Zoo.  The special rate is $4.50 for elementary / middle school students, $5.00 for high school / college students and $6.50 for adults.  Zoo members get in free.  Sign up to be a Zoo member today.


Lupe Ruiz Flores, is the author of six award-winning bilingual children’s picture books. Two of her recent picture books – Let’s Salsa and Lupita’s First Dance made the list on the Mamiverse blog. The author was also selected as one of 2014’s National Picture Book Month Champions for the month of November.  All of her picture books are Accelerated Readers (AR), and several have been on the Tejas Star Book Award Reading List.

The author lives in Texas but has also lived in Bangkok, Thailand and Okinawa, Japan. She comes from a large, close-knit family where her sisters are her best friends.  Her writing career started when she entered a writing contest and was lucky enough to win an all-expense paid trip to New York where she attended a week-long writing workshop. It was a great experience.  She started out writing nonfiction and then ventured into children’s picture books. Now she is working on a middle-grade novel. She even dabbled in poetry and had some of it published in anthologies.

Melanie Smith was originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but has been a proud transplant to the RGV for many years.  She is currently a Librarian at Burns Elementary.  She has been a librarian for 24 years and her favorite thing to do is read to kids.  She believes that reading with enthusiasm helps encourage students to read.


This year’s Wild Tales has more fun, kid-friendly activities:

  • Listen to a wild tale from one of our guest storytellers
  • Make a tail craft
  • Have fun at one of the many play stations
  • Get your face painted
  • Encounter an Animal Ambassador


Gladys Porter Zoo is proud to promote early literacy by providing free books to children attending Wild Tales.  The books are available while supplies last.  Lucky children will receive a ticket that they can redeem for one free book.

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