An outraged lion chases a clever zebra out of the circus and into a wild outdoor escapade.
Told in a bouncing rhyme, the story opens at the beginning of Fierce Lion and Speedy Zebra’s circus act, just before Zebra accidentally stomps a hoof down on Lion’s toe. In light meter and rapid rhymes, readers learn that Lion becomes furious: “Lion roaring, temper soaring. / Zebra darting, crowd is parting. // Away he’s racing, Lion’s chasing. / Zebra on the go!” Out of the circus tent, through traffic, toward an oceanside park runs Zebra, with Lion on his heels. Following closely behind is the full circus menagerie: elephants, giraffes, monkeys, clowns, acrobats, prancing bears, and their worried ringleader among others. In pursuit—zigzagging along the pier, down the beach, and onto boats—it appears Lion may finally catch up to Zebra; however, Lion’s unreliable, inflatable craft is punctured by a narwhal, and he begins to sink along with it. Offering zippy rhymes and a sweet lesson in friendship, Nogales’ story will unquestionably stand as a solid read-aloud that is equally entertaining for both adults and children. Rocha’s clever illustrations, diverse characters, and abundant search-and-find treats adorn every page and bring the raucous event to life. For exceptionally perceptive observers, following the circus-act pandemonium will be just as entertaining as the central chase. Readers will surely revisit this book closely.
What a circus show, indeed! (Picture book. 4-8)