Zander Stays

Pajama Pr. Oct. 2023. 36p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772782967.
K-Gr 3–It’s cold outside and Zander the anthropomorphized gander decides of his own volition to remain behind at his summer home while his flock migrates south for the winter. Encountering unfamiliar weather and climate change, he solicits survival advice from the neighboring animals. Unable to adapt as they do, he suffers until “a miracle” comes along, and he is rescued by a human child. While the dedication page seems to suggest this tale was inspired by daring and original thinkers, Zander’s life hinges on divine intervention appearing as interspecies deliverance. Readers of all ages can enjoy Ritchie’s gently playful lines and colorful renderings of the northern North American landscape and characters rendered in a style reminiscent of William Steig. The text will go down easier for readers who enjoy silly geese. The text concludes with an author’s note that features a few scientific facts about the ways various animals adapt to winter conditions and contextual explanations of the terms hibernation and migration.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries in colder climates where getting ready for winter is truly a matter of survival and books on this topic are needed. An extraneous purchase for others.

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