Zanzibar

Success, friendship and finding one’s own special gifts are at the heart of this deceptively simple tale about Zanzibar the crow. When a local frog journalist comes calling, Zanzibar fears that he possesses no special talents, outside of making mushroom omelettes. The quest for recognition takes him to an unlikely place to perform an outlandish task which might just the be the wonder of all of his friends.

This is a beautiful and frank book, gently correcting the idea that esteem and conformity to other people’s expectations must go hand in hand. The individualism of Zanzibar, the accepting spirit of his friends, and the sense of celebration around his achievements voice a perspective which is too easily lost for children in a world of self-promotion. Anthony Shugaar’s translation from the original French is beautifully plain and candid, and illustrations by the author are immediate and bold, reflecting the emotional honesty of the text. A book about being an individual, and treasuring the love we receive from those who really matter, Zanzibar will delight young readers by virtue of its sheer emotional honesty and directness.