is known for their wordless picture books. And The Last Zookeeper is another gem in that genre. It is always funny to me to write a review about a book with no words. There is a quote from Jane Goodall at the start, but that is it in this due mid-March 2024 Disney’s WALL-E meets Noah’s Ark story.
The theme is simple, environmentalism. However, it goes deeper. The emotional pull of what happens if we do not pay attention to our world and that environment is the focus. There is a large robot character that tries to help the animals of the world. A world that is now completely flooded with patches of land. The robot (I call Ernest, or Ernie for short) does everything it can from feeding the tigers to taking the pandas off the cliff. All the while Bob is doing things. Each person will take a basic idea and then interpret it their way. One day Roberta (another robot) comes along (Bert) and they have a hot air balloon. Things get real at this point.
And all the while these far out wild pages that are filled with colors, details, are busy and have all the goodness you need. The art is a third character. One that both supports and is separate from the rest of the robots and animals we see. Some of the images are out of the world amazing and fantastic and some I can do without. And in a very odd twist, the cover might be among my least favorite images. But I do not have any I really disliked.
Overall, this is a book that is anyone’s book, but I am not sure if everyone would appreciate it. Know your reader and your listeners’ level of “sitting still” for the best ages to share with. Of course, great for adults and people into art.