Review: Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich
Just like adults, kids are creatures of habit. Ask a substitute teacher what happens when they deviate from the normal schedule with a classroom full of first graders. Sticking to a routine is great, but being flexible is also important. This must be why the concept of the New Kid on the Block Upsetting the Status Quo has become such a reoccurring concept (think “new sibling” and “new kid in school” books). Say Hello to Zorro! joins this crowded group, yet manages to stand out thanks to humor and a deft artistic touch.
Mister Bud has a schedule. It is unwavering. The lone dog in the house, Bud goes about his routine of eating, napping, and television watching with no interruptions. One day, the diminuative Zorro arrives on the scene and immediately changes the mood of relaxation to one of tension. The pair eventually realize one important thing – their schedules match. Not only does this make their co-habitation tolerable, they realize that the daily routine is even better with a companion.
Watercolor spot illustrations set on large expanses of white keep the focus on our canine characters. The perspective is at a dog’s level, with humans only appearing in the form of arms and legs reaching or standing in the frame. It’s a smaller world kids can relate to.
Fear of the unknown, compromise, friendship – Say Hello to Zorro! touches on all of these things. Kids will just be having too much fun to worry about that stuff.
Review copy from publisher
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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