Thursday, March 28, 2013
Zippy’s Big Difference, written by Candida Sullivan, deals with several issues, one of which is the subject of how children view themselves when they are different from other children. In this case, Zippy is a zebra with “white” stripes, but no black ones, so he doesn’t look like other zebras.
In this story, Zippy prayed for the rain to stop. It did, but then it snowed. Zippy thought the clouds had fallen from the sky. He was afraid he had caused a big problem. He saw his friends playing in the “clouds” and he told them to stop. But they were enjoying themselves too much to do so.
While Zippy was figuring out how to make thing right (i.e., put the “clouds” back where they belonged), his friend Naomi told him the “clouds” were just snow. She told him his prayer was a selfish one because he didn’t consider the plants and animals that need rain, he just wanted the rain to stop so he could play. Naomi said, “Prayer is very special and we need to make sure our heart is right when we pray.”
Zippy wanted to know how to do that. Naomi said, “God is the One who gives our heart the desire to pray. So listen to your heart.” Naomi went on to say, “Sometimes He gives more than one person the same prayer to pray. In the Bible, God says when two or more come together in prayer that He will hear it.”
When his friends heard that they got excited. They could pray for Zippy to have black stripes just like them so he wouldn’t be different.
Zippy started to think that was a great idea, so he asked Naomi if God would hear that prayer. “I don’t know. What if God had a purpose for giving you all white stripes? What if He has a beautiful plan for your life? God doesn’t make mistakes so your stripes have a reason. It wasn’t an accident that you received all white stripes.”
After further discussion, Zippy made a decision (SPOILER ALERT): He realized that he was special, that he was different because God made him that way. “God gave me all white stripes for a reason. He made me exactly like He wanted me to be. And I don’t want to change them. I like being different.” Then all his friends realized they were different in some way. One had one ear longer than the other; another had crooked teeth, etc. And, they all realized they were made the way God wanted them to be.
Not only did Zippy learn that he shouldn’t pray for selfish reasons, he also learned that God has a special plan for every single person.
The wonderful illustrations by Jack Foster are bright and colorful. I especially like the illustration on the book’s cover. It’s reminiscent of one done by Norman Rockwell.
What I Like: Everything.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 6-12.
Publisher Info: ShadeTree Publishing, 2012; ISBN: 9781937331313; Paperback, $14.99
Special Info: This is the second book by author Candida Sullivan featuring Zippy. The first one was Zippy and the Stripes of Courage. Read our reviews of other books by Candida Sullivan. Read our reviews of other books illustrated by Jack Foster.