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Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite
Being Zelda by Russell Irving follows the story of Zelda, a mantis shrimp, who is looking for more than what her burrow holds. She longs to know where bluefin tuna come from, where they go, and the places they see. The moon sets off a fantastic dance of coral spawning and triggers the migration of other sea creatures. Zelda comes up with a plan to learn more about the bluefin tuna without getting eaten by them. Unlike Zelda, her brother George is content to stay in his burrow. Her friend Frank doesn’t mind traveling a little to help a friend but prefers returning home afterward. Where will Zelda’s adventurous nature take her? Will she ever discover more about the bluefin tuna? How is she different from her brother and her friends?
Being Zelda by Russell Irving is an educational story about a mantis shrimp named Zelda who wants to know more about ocean life in distant parts of the sea. She wants to travel while her friends are more content staying closer to home or in familiar burrows. The beautifully designed illustrations portray the ocean and the marine life that thrives below the water's surface. I love how Irving explains the difference between introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts in a way that will encourage young readers to trust their preferences and be content with being themselves. I recommend it to kids who love an adventurous story they can enjoy while learning something new.