Review Blog

Jul 22 2016

Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons by Gary Northfield

cover image

Julius Zebra series. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406354935
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Champion gladiator Julius Zebra returns in another crazy outing with his zany friends. Life for the People's Champion should be exciting; everybody loves the zebra, he's even asked for hoof print autographs in the muddy streets of Rome. Emperor Hadrian has promised Julius freedom after his last fight at the Colosseum, unfortunately, they are not going on holidays, and they have one more task to complete. Julius is excited about the upcoming holibobs, while Felix is keen to add to his extensive rock collection and Rufus the giraffe is ready for a relaxing fishing holiday. They must travel on a stinky sailing ship all the way to Britannia and fight another tournament.
Septimus is a hard taskmaster on board and the animals are forced to scrub the decks daily and sleep in hammocks inside the stinky hold. An attempt to dress in chainmail and escape the confines of the ship leads to an hilariously incident that requires the rescue of the crocodile, warthog, giraffe, lion and antelope
Life in Roman Britain proves fraught with danger, the smelly streets of Londinium treacherous and their holiday home a hovel near the small amphitheatre.
Each of the animals are quirky characters who are drawn together in difficult circumstances, unaware that their opponents are mean fighting machines.
Gary Northfield's hilarious cartoons highlight Julius's and his friends' struggles with life in an unknown land, as they prepare to face new combatants in the arena. The animals' irreverent dialogue is sharp, witty and sarcastic. This is another laugh out loud story, with plenty of jokes, gags and puns. These stories combine facts about Ancient Rome life with humorous scenes and silly animal antics.
Recommended for readers from 8+
Rhyllis Bignell

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