Zoe’s Rescue Zoo: The Lonely Lion Cub by Amelia Cobb, ill. by Sophy Williams
A lovely start to a new animal series for 5-8 year olds!
When Great Uncle Horace brings an orphaned lion cub back to his zoo, Zoe is quick to greet their new resident and make him happy in his new home. The problem is though that he’s not happy at all and Zoe must try to use her special gift of talking to animals to find out how she can help the cub before it’s too late!
Definately one for the animal lover. It’s not often you find a 5-8 book that mentions not just lions but also bumblebee bats among your more regular zoo animals! I especially liked Zoe’s constant companion Meep, who’s a small lemur that sits on her shoulder, just like Kiki the aprrot who sits on Zoe’s Great Uncle Horace’s.
It’s a very gentle read, with a great emphasis on carefully understanding and respecting the animals. Zoe takes great care to learn all the animals’ real names so they haven’t got a different name on their enclosures, and it’s Zoe who makes the effort to talk to each animal every day and find out what’s ailing the lion cub when he arrives and why he’s too upset to eat his food.
Of course there has to be a bad guy and the aptly named Mr Pinch certainly makes his presence felt. It’s quite exciting reading how Zoe tries to make her plan for Rory the lion cub heard when Mr Pinch is at his most stubborn and uncompromising.
The illustrations by Sophy Williams are gorgeous and work beautifully with the gentleness of the story overall – they’re just so soft that you could easily imagine them being touchy feely like the baby books, all fuzzy like a baby lion cub.
An absolutely lovely story and bound to appeal to fans of Holly Webb and Lucy Daniels.
Find Zoe’s Rescue Zoo: The Lonely Lion Cub here.