Daring Deeds on Deadline!:Zoe's Jungle by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
ABOVE THE JUNGLE FLOOR THE FEARLESS EXPLORER GLIMPSES A RARE SPOTTED ADDIEBEAST.
SHE SAILS THROUGH THE TREETOPS,
QUICKLY CLOSING IN ON THE ELUSIVE CREATURE.
"ZOE! ONLY FIVE MORE MINUTES!!!"
Zoe and her little sister are with Mom at the park. At least, Mom thinks they are at the park. Zoe and Addie know that they are actually in a tropical rain forest.
Zoe sees herself as the intrepid explorer, with pith helmet and binoculars. Addie is a swift, spotted jungle cat, the elusive Addiebeast, and and Zoe is on her trail through the forest canopy.
Mom thinks it's time to go home. When she warns that playtime is about up, Zoe is on the verge of a wild reaction. She launches a protest, but Mom is adamant about her deadline!
"FOUR MORE MINUTES.....!!!"
Is there no respect for the explorer and her quest? Protest yields no extension, so Zoe throws herself into the chase. Time is short, and the Addiebeast is wily.
Swinging from vines (the monkey bars), crossing a log bridge over an alligator-infested river (the balancing beam), and slithering through the dense growth on the jungle floor (shrubs), Zoe follows brief glimpses of the lithe Addiebeast's tufted tail, and relentlessly closes in on her quarry.
...A LIFETIME OF PREPARATION COMES DOWN TO THIS MOMENT, CHASING THE WILD ADDIEBEAST TO ITS TREETOP LAIR.
And by the time Mom calls time and heads for the car, the capture is complete, and Zoe and Addie, their dresses not even mussed, return safe and sound from the jungle, with quite a story to tell, in Bethanie Deeney Murguia's latest Zoe adventure, Zoe's Jungle (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic Press, 2014), an ebullient celebration of the joys of imaginative free play. The sisters appear both in dainty girly frocks when their mother calls to them, and as an eager explorer and an elusive great cat when lost in their fantasy play. Murguia's light ink and watercolor illustrations capture the special time and place that the sisters inhabit during their leafy adventure on the wild side, a special world that children will recognize as their own.
Murguia's previous stories about the winsome and strong-minded Zoe are Zoe Gets Ready and Zoe's Room (No Sisters Allowed) (See my reviews here).