Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
I know…I never usually review children’s books because there are people much better at it than I, but when I saw this one I HAD to have it. This is a truly wonderful story about a little alien who lands on a farm because he and his “friends” are exploring. Ziro is not a scary, bad alien; in fact, he’s the cutest thing I’ve seen since E.T. (He’s round and blue, and his ship is a giant white ball with stubby little wings). And the wisdom that he evokes is something that everyone, adults, children, politicians – pretty much everyone – should read, understand, and remember that there was a time when there was a shot that we’d all get along well and enjoy life.
Ziro smiles a great deal and, even though the barnyard animals are a bit frightened by the new little guy, his words about hope, faith, and dreams make the cows, pigs, sheep, etc. feel better about life. Unfortunately, the farmer hears their noise and comes out to investigate. Now, the farmer isn’t nice; he’s very gruff and he’s also the one who will come into the barnyard – take a chicken, cow, or sheep – and they are never seen or heard from again. So the animals are a bit afraid of him. But…when he comes out to check on all the noise, they hide Ziro so that nothing can happen to their new, strange friend.
Ziro, seeing how full of fear the barnyard animals are, offer them a ride into his world where all the news is happy – not bad – and offers a way for all living things to see far-off different places and meet the people and creatures that live there. You see, it doesn’t matter if they speak differently, or look differently, Ziro believes that you can simply make friends because you’re friendly. He also believes that traveling to other lands and meeting people unlike yourself is a good thing. He teaches acceptance. (Certainly a “novel” concept nowadays).
On top of the story being fantastic and teaching a pretty great lesson to children, the illustrations in the book are great, as well. The author is an L.A. based writer/character designer whose resume includes companies like DreamWorks, and Electronic Arts (EA). With that knowledge alone, readers can certainly know ahead of time that this author definitely knows their business. On top of that, there is a wonderful website to check out about the book that offers shirts, mugs, etc. with Ziro prominently displayed.
I, for one, hope that Ziro becomes a new series of books for kids; this little alien’s thoughts about sweetness, friendship, acceptance, and hope are certainly character traits that ALL of us should study and try like heck to adopt as our own. Bravo Ziro!