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HAIRY HEZEKIAH by Dick King-Smith


by Dick King-Smith & illustrated by Nick Bruel

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59643-318-2
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Another amiable animal ramble from King-Smith—this one featuring a lonely Bactrian camel who breaks out of a Somerset zoo to look for a pal. Lipping open the latch to his cage, Hezekiah ambles through the closed zoo for chats with the lions and chimps, fills up on water in the men’s restroom and then (thanks to a notably inattentive zookeeper) sallies forth into the countryside, leaving chaos behind him as he plows through hedges and fences. At last, a conversation with some cows brings his quest to an end; directed to a local game park, he bonds with the animal-loving Earl who owns it, and hooks up with species-mate Hephzibah. “I do like happy endings!” exclaims the Earl. Hezekiah doesn’t have the vivid personality, nor the adventures of Star Livingstone’s llama Harley (2001), illustrated by Molly Bang, and doesn’t show much character in Bruel’s bland cartoons. Still, this low-key comedy will please newly independent readers. (Fantasy. 8-10)