I am a massive fan of Katherine Rundell - everything she writes is pure brilliance - and I am overjoyed that a younger audience can once again enjoy her storytelling in her second picture book.
When wild child Mink is asked for help from a distressed zebra she knows she must offer her assistance in any way that she can. His parents have been stolen by an evil collector of animals and now Mr Spit’s alphabet of exotic animals is complete he can bring the most dastardly of plans to fruition. Along with a dog called Rainbow and a squirrel named Rodentia, it is up to Mink to save the day. But will she track down and be able to stop the villainous Mr Spit in time…
With plenty of One Hundred and One Dalmatians vibes, The Zebra’s Great Escape is a belter of a story that is bursting to the seams with adventure, excitement and daring-doings. A cast of exotic creatures, the magical power of communicating with animals, brave heroes and a baddie to despise make Rundell’s tale of friendship and bravery pure joy.
Filled with energy, the story moves as fast as a charging army of alphabetical animals. Each page exudes excitement and warmth with plenty of humorous elements along the way. ‘The bar-code horse’ is going down as one of my favourite descriptions of a zebra…ever. A satisfying conclusion will be met with cheers when the detestable Mr Spit gets his comeuppance and the wild after-party scenes are a sight to behold.
Rundell’s glorious writing is perfectly paired with Sara Ogilvie’s magical illustrations that sweep readers away on an audacious rescue that squeaks, barks, roars, trumps and chatters with lovely messages of courage, determination and a bold resolve to do the right thing.
One of the best picture books I have read this year and an essential for key stage one classrooms. Children will relish having this story read to them or getting lost in the adventure themselves where dreams of talking to animals and riding on zebras are sure to be at the forefront of young minds. Be sure to peak under the dust jacket and ogle over the zebra stripes.
With huge thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 6+.