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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Everyone has a special talent, something they do well and they love to do. For Zula the zebra, singing is his passion and his talent. He sings everywhere and all the time. His parents don’t understand; his mother even thinks he sings out of tune. They try to encourage him to get involved in outdoor activities, but that only makes Zula sad. He loves to sing and that’s all he wants to do. He seeks help from his grandfather and together they plan a party to surprise Zula’s parents and make them understand his passion and his talent. His parents are surprised and pleased to finally hear and appreciate their son’s true talent.
Kahani Teller’s picture book story, Zula, The Singing Zebra!, is a clever way to teach young readers about our own unique talents. Using alliteration and some rhyming verse, the simple language will appeal to youngsters. The plot begins with Zula’s passion for singing and develops through the obstacles that threaten to prevent him from doing what he loves best. The climax is his grandfather’s grand idea with a resolution that has everyone cheering for the singing zebra. The illustrations are bright, bold and cheerful and help carry the story along. The story is charming and convincingly presents to young readers the importance of accepting everyone for who they are. Not everyone is going to enjoy playing sports or running around outside. Each talent is unique and equally important. Music and the arts are just as important as sports.