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Catharina Valckx

An uplifting, warmhearted early chapter book about a crow, who proves you can move mountains (or even dromedaries) and perform truly heroic deeds if you believe in yourself.

Zanzibar cooks a fine mushroom omelette,and he is a crow who wears his feathers well. At least he thought so, until a spectacled lizard knocks at his door, wanting to write an article about a remarkable person. Is Zanzibar remarkable? The lizard seems to doubt it. Zanzibar thinks: To be remarkable, I must achieve something incredible, an extraordinary feat.

So he decides that’s what he’ll do. His feat will be an attempt to lift a dromedary.


When renowned journalist (and lizard) Achille LeBlab goes looking for exceptional characters to feature in his newspaper, it inspires a wonderful crow, Zanzibar, to attempt a feat so remarkable that it was bound to make headlines: to lift a camel in the air using just one wing! In pursuit of his dream, Zanzibar heads south towards the desert where something amazing happens.

This quirky little gem of a book, with its delightful language, humour and simple childlike illustrations, is guaranteed to engage young readers. Accompanied by a wonderful cast of animal characters, Zanzibar discovers what it means to be extraordinary while learning to value the simple everyday things. At its core, this charming tale is also a celebration of the importance, support and encouragement of friends.

Highly recommended for junior independent readers aged 7+ and their classrooms; it’s also an ideal read-aloud story the family will enjoy.

Athina Clarke is the children’s book buyer at Readings Malvern.

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