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ZOO GIRL by Rebecca Elliott Kirkus Star


by Rebecca Elliott, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7459-6323-5
Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

A lonely orphan girl finds her true friends within the walls of the zoo.

She has no family and no name (at least in the story). While the other children play on the swing set and slide outside the orphanage, she sits huddled on the grass far away from them. But the mere sight of the animals at the zoo brings a big smile to her face. One day she's left behind there after a visit; she watches the big bus driving away. It might be a scary situation for some, but the little girl plays happily with the polar bear, the penguins and the elephant, among others. Eventually she's found, sleeping snugly with a mama tiger and her cub. "Don't take me!" She cries. But the pair of zoo workers who find her have a surprise. They want to adopt her, the happiest ending one can imagine. "A family." Elliot's lovely story is arrestingly told, in beautiful, a textured mixed-media illustrations that are┬áevocatively minimalist and ingeniously composed, with hardly any text (there are fewer than 20 words all together). Readers are invited to imagine the untold details. A friendly mouse and a smiling blue bird of comparable size appear near her on every page, adding a soup├žon of whimsy. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Sublime for young and old, and full of heart. (Picture book. 3-6)