'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 31 March 2018

Review: Not Yet, Zebra

Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf have created a delightful story in Not Yet, Zebra that makes you giggle.

Annie is ready to paint the alphabet and asks the animals to line up.

She begins with Aardvark and by the time Annie is ready to paint the letter D, Zebra has jumped the queue.

Zebra is one of those children who just cannot wait for their turn because they are just too excited to be patient.

During the story we meet more animals as Annie paints the alphabet and intermingled is the line-jumping Zebra. Zebra is illustrated by Woolf in some amazing disguises that include: tutus, costumes, headbands, attached body parts (beaks, horns, tails and arms) and full body paint. Zebra made me chuckle out loud when he straps his little zebra stuffed toy to his chest as he pretends to be a kangaroo.

Annie begins to get increasing frustrated with Zebra's interruptions. By the time she reaches the letter X,  Woolf's illustrations show Annie bracing her feet firmly on the floor as she pushes Zebra yelling 'Go away, Zebra! Let Yak have his turn. When are you ever going to learn?'

Once Annie is finally ready to paint the letter Z, Zebra cannot be found. Annie follows a trail of discarded costumes as she ponders whether she has hurt Zebra's feelings. Where will Annie find Zebra? I have to say that Kuenzler gives readers an adorable ending.

Kuenzler has woven a clever alphabet rhyming story in a unique and refreshing way. She has chosen a great range of animals from traditional alphabet animals like the bear and crocodile to some more usual ones like a hamster, flamingo and quail.

Woolf's illustrations are bright and colourful with characters that have fabulous facial expressions and gestures that add to the story in the most delightful way.

Include towards the end of the story are two enchanting double page spreads. One has all the animals from A to Y which children find and naming each animal in alphabetical order. The other double page spread features all of Annie's paintings that have a upper an lower case alphabet letter and the animal for that letter.

For lovers of endpapers Not Yet, Zebra has included glorious illustrations of Zebra contorting himself into the shape of each letter of the alphabet.

Title: Not Yet, Zebra
Author: Lou Kuenzler
Illustrator: Julia Woolf
Publisher: Faber and Faber, $14.99
Publication Date: 28 March 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780571329762
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book