THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM CITY ZOO by Tohby Riddle

THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM CITY ZOO

Age Range: 3 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A deadpan lesson on starting over, and the obstacles to be met on the way. An anteater, elephant, turtle, and flamingo propose to start a new life free from the bars of the past. They escape from the zoo, and then, by moving constantly, wearing disguises, and laying low, attempt to avoid the zookeepers hot on their trail. The anteater goes solo, but the other three stick together and head for the border. All appears to be going well until the anteater faints outside a taxidermy shop, the turtle falls helplessly on his back, and the elephant spouts water in the town fountain, garnering unwanted attention and leading to their return to the zoo. Only the flamingo escapes unscathed. Riddle conjures up the action in the gray-and-white misty tones of memory, for this story of derring-do is one, it’s said, that has been passed down through generations of zoo animals. In a text that has something of the terse, gritty narration of old detective stories, and with visual references to Edward Hopper, King Kong, The Grapes of Wrath, and other cultural billboards, this is a book that will have adults pausing to savor the pages as children race to the exciting conclusion. (Picture book. 3-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-32776-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999