Calm Down, Zebra


It’s time to teach baby Joe his colours. Annie has just the right idea. She’s lining up all the animals and choosing just the right colours with which to paint them. Baby Joe is sure to learn! However, there’s a problem when she comes to Polar Bear for someone has given him pink and white stripes! Who could it be? It seems like it’s Annie’s ‘old stripy friend‘ is getting into the paints and giving all the animals a stripy makeover! Calm Down, Zebra! Frogs are always green and lions should be yellow, shouldn’t they?

However, the problem has spread, for Cheetah’s giving everyone spots, while Lemur’s busy daubing on rings! Poor Annie! What is she going to do? When she shouts, ‘Behave!’ she’s unaware that Zebra has painted Elephant, and then Giraffe…

Has the painting exercise been in vain? Will Joe learn his colours, or could this lesson be about something entirely different?

We love the rhyme, the subtle message and the fantastic, cheering colours. We hope that Annie shelves any suggestion to  Calm Down, Zebra for his decorating makes the world even more wild and wonderful!

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Calm Down, Zebra

Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf

(Faber & Faber)

Calm down, Zebra‘ for Annie’s lining up the animals to paint them. She’s helping baby Joe learn his colours. However, first there’s green paint for frog, and for Lion, ‘yellow, bright as the sun‘. Yet Polar Bear? It seems like he has ‘crazy pink lines’! What is happening? Could it be that ‘someone [has] gone completely stripe mad’? It’s easy to guess who! It seems as though Annie’s ‘old stripy friend’ is behind the mess. Although Joe is delighted, Annie is adamant that ‘orang-utan’s orange. She should not be bright blue./ Calm down, Zebra. This just will not do!’ 
They rhyme is fresh and interactive, while the story is gorgeous. It’s one to be shared and loved. Julia Woolf’s pictures are inviting and funny, just like her Duck & Penguin are NOT Friends. Will Joe learn his colours? Maybe there’s another lesson here that Zebra is putting before Annie?


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