A sweet story about friendship and community.
Zanzibar the crow is enjoying his dinner at home when there is a knock at the door. The surprise visitor is a lizard wearing glasses. His name is Achille LeBlab, a reporter for The Voice of the Forest. He wants to know if Zanzibar has ever done anything extraordinary. The crow thinks for a while, but can't come up with anything. Unimpressed, Achille LeBlab caps his reporter's pen and leaves. Zanzibar thinks about this and decides to lift a camel with a single wing. He asks the postman, Monsieur Seagull, where he can find a camel. In the desert, comes the answer, and so Zanzibar flies off. When he arrives in the desert, he meets Sidi the fox and Cheb the dromedary. A dromedary is similar to a camel, so he decides to lift Cheb. But can a crow lift such a large animal?
French illustrator and writer Catharina Valckx's charming chapter book for early readers concentrates on the sweetness of friendship and community. There is a wonderfully gentle tone to the writing and a delightful cast of characters, including Paulette (a mole), Ginette (a frog) and Madame Adele (a moth). Zanzibar will leave you feeling cheerful for days.
Zanzibar, by Catharina Valckx. Gecko Press. $16.99
Review by Chris Saliba
North Melbourne Books