FIRST COME THE ZEBRA by Lynne Barasch

FIRST COME THE ZEBRA

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

After the rainy season, Kenya’s animals work in concert, each type eating from a specific niche of the lush grasslands, shown here in appealing, expansive ink-and-watercolor illustrations. This sets the stage for the story of Abaani, a young Maasai herder, and Haki, a Kikuyu farm boy who works in a market stall, in a picture book with nonfiction flavor. The two groups are at odds over land use, so the boys initially exchange angry insults. Thrown together in a moment of danger, the two work together to save a toddler caught in the path of warthogs, which makes both reconsider the aforementioned hatred. Gradually, a friendship and a partnership form, inspiring the boys to hope that their families and people will find a similar way to appreciate one another and share Kenya’s resources. Thought-provoking if a little blue-sky optimistic, this tale of Kenya serves as an accessible exploration of the concept of tribal disputes and more general themes of friendship and conflict resolution. A nice choice for classroom use and home reading. (map, author’s note, glossary, source notes) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60060-365-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2009




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