Laura Gehl, Author
Paco Sordo, Illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company, Fiction, Sep. 1, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 3-5
Themes: Animals, Bear, Pursing dreams, Courage, Being yourself, Empathy
Opening: Even as a tiny cub, Zogby knew what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Delivering Fluffy Tail Cookies has always been Zogby’s dream job. One day he reads a job notice for a delivery animal in the grocery store window. But he’s a bear and all the other delivery animals are cute bunnies with fluffy tails. The manager is skeptical, but gives Zogby a one-day trial.
When Zogby rings a doorbell and sings the delivery song, he scares the customer again and again! Wearing bunny ears, whiskers, and a fluffy rabbit tail doesn’t fool his customers. Blinking back his tears he rides back to the factory singing the last verses from his song, “Please remember when you chew…You are special. You are you!”
Suddenly, Zogby has a BIG idea. When Zogby realizes it’s best to just be himself, he discovers a clever way to get the job done.
Why I like this book:
You can’t help but fall in love with Zogby. His customers — a rabbit, beaver, raccoon, porcupine and chipmunk — all yell a frightful “AAHHHHHH!” as they open the door and meet Zogby. Readers will commiserate with Zogby with each rejection and lost dream. But they will cheer this huggable bear as he picks himself up, sells cookies his way and realizes his dream.
Laura Gehl’s uplifting story is about learning to be yourself. It has many teachable moments about empathy and compassion. This story is brimming with heart and connection.
Paco Sordo’s brightly colored illustrations really bring this story to life and showcase its message. The animals expressions and reactions are priceless. Take a good look at the lively book cover. Kids will love turning the pages. Great collaborative effort between author and illustrator. This book is a winner!
Resources: This is a very useful discussion book for home and school — along with baked chocolate chip cookies. Ask children how they respond when they see someone who may not look or act like them — a homeless person, someone with a disfigurement or a child who is differently abled. Are they curious? Are they frightened? Do they avoid the person? Are they friendly? Do they feel compassion?
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by publisher.