ZOE'S JUNGLE by Bethanie Deeney Murguia


Age Range: 3 - 6
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Zoe and Addie have been given a five-minute warning from their mother—will their game of chase end on time?

Murguia has a way of tapping into young children’s foibles. In Zoe Gets Ready (2012), Zoe gains the responsibility for choosing her own outfit. In Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed) (2013), Zoe learns to share. In this latest Zoe adventure, Zoe and Addie’s mother tells the kids they have five minutes before they must leave the playground. Zoe erupts into outraged shouts and defiant flailings until her mother declares, “Four minutes!” Zoe had better make the rest of the time count. Addie imaginatively transforms into the wild Addiebeast and Zoe, the explorer, must capture her. They race across roaring rivers (the play pond), swing on vines (the monkey bars) and crawl through thick jungle underbrush (a tunnel). Addie’s orange polka-dot dress turns into a spotted tail or paw flashing off-page, hastening the chase. But all the while, mother’s countdown continues, in ever-more-emphatic speech bubbles. Will the Addiebeast be caught? Zoe is full of spitfire and dash, plus there is a veritable explosion of sparkles on the cover. How are young readers to resist?

It’s an obvious overture to parental transitioning tactics, but it’s an imaginative adventure just the same. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 27th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-55869-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


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