I am actually writing this review while my daughter flips the pages of the book and the cd blares from my laptop, telling the story to her. And it’s keep her quite entertained, to say the least. The mere fact that I am getting a few minutes to myself while my three year old is in the same room says a lot.
One day, Zebert the stripy zebra sees a rainbow, and oh how beautiful that rainbow is! His fondest wish is that he too, can have stripes like a rainbow, even though his mother has said that all zebras have to have the same color of stripes. And one morning his wish is granted, he is striped like the glorious rainbow. But unfortunately, no one treats him the same anymore. His friends think he looks “weird” or “funny.” Zebert becomes sad and wants to change, instead of embracing himself as an individual. It does have a happy ending of course, about accepting yourself and others.
The book has the messages of tolerance, acceptance and individuality presented in a way that younger children can understand and relate to. This is great reference material for parents for example, when their child asks questions regarding a person’s color of skin, or why someone has piercings all over their face, or why that person has purple hair. We are all the same, but just like Zebert, we are all unique individuals as well. My children relate to stories much better than me talking about acceptance and tolerance as a vague concept, rather than a hands on reading experience. For guiding younger children, we can talk till we are blue in the face, but nothing is better than solid material to aid us.
The cd is a wonderful accompaniment to the story and even has a song about Zebert at the end to make it a great reading experience.
Reading level: ages 4-7
Page Count: 32
Publisher: Lightning Source Inc
What to expect: individuality, acceptance, and tolerance are prominent themes, beautiful bright illustrations, and a fun cd!
Publisher’s synopsis: Meet Zebert, a little zebra who wishes to change his stripes. Find out what happens when Zebert’s wish comes true!
About the Author: “I am a wife and the mother of three beautiful children. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family. I also love to paint, mostly landscapes, in my spare time. I love making up stories to tell my three year old daughter and over the years I have made up quite a few stories for my two older children. I never really thought about trying to get any of my stories published until recently, after my third child was born. That is when I came up with the idea for Zebert.
Zebert The Rainbow Striped Zebra is about a young zebra who, after seeing his first rainbow, wishes that his stripes could be as bright and beautiful as the rainbow. After his wish comes true, however, Zebert’s self-esteem takes a blow when his herd shuns him. Zebert must learn to embrace this change while his friends must learn to accept it.
Ever since my children were very young, I have always tried to instill in them a sense of individuality. I taught them that our differences are what make us special and should be celebrated not hidden. Acceptance, tolerance, diversity and friendship are all very important lessons for young children to learn and I hope that parents and children alike will enjoy reading about, and learning from, one little zebra’s experience.”
Our Rating: 5 out of 5