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What If the Zebras Lost Their Stripes? Hardcover – September, 1998

19 customer reviews

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What If the Zebras Lost Their Stripes? + How the Zebra Got Its Stripes (Little Golden Book) + Zebras (African Animals)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With rhymed couplets and goofy illustrations, this parable attempts to teach that love looks beyond superficial differences. Reitano, an educator and speaker, asks, "What if the zebras/ lost their stripes,/ and some lost black/ and some lost white?" Would the zebras recognize their common identity, or would they begin to notice their new differences in color and start to fight? Would they move to separate lands, or would the young zebras be allowed to laugh and play together? Reitano raises the stakes with each new possibility of the choices the zebras might make. Though Haines's vibrant colors add warmth to the illustrations, the animals' human-like expressions are jarring. This simplistic tale about overcoming differences and achieving harmony overlooks the deeper ramifications of racism. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

An ingenious look at prejudice, profound in its simplicity. Reitano and Haines should be commended - this book is flawless! -- Children Magazine, by Elaine Gant, February 1999

The rhythm and the bright and lively illustrations will draw most readers to the book again and again. -- Denver Rocky Mountain News, by Natalie Soto, February 14, 1999

This parable about prejudice is charmingly written and delightfully illustrated. It is a worthy addition to classroom and home libraries. -- The Arizona Republic, by Beverly Medlyn, January 1999

Together with wonderful illustrations by William Haines, Reitano captures the essence and beauty of acceptance. A great springboard for discussion. -- The National Parenting Center
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809166496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809166497
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an incredibly inspirational and thought-provoking story of diversity. It is written in a very light-hearted context, yet sends a powerful message. The illustration is fun, lively and colorful. My kids as well as their teachers, love this book!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Allison Kalman on October 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a whole, I would highly recommend this beautifully illustrated book on racism and prejudice. It is fun to read and an excellent way to address the topic with the youngest of children.

The only thing that I think should be mentioned is it does (briefly) include religious context that might not be appropriate for all families when it concludes that it is god who was smart enough to make the zebras the way they are. While not promoting any specific god, this does make it inappropriate for a public school setting or for families of certain religious beliefs.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William Cleary on April 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What If Zebras Lost Their Stripes gives you a perfect occasion to open young minds to how adults of different colors and nationalities -- and kids -- should think about their diversity. With just a little thought, kids will get this top priority message instantly. A great contribution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book that encourages children and adults to appreciate each others differences. A classic!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! I have not been able to put it down. This is a book that should be in every home. The creators of this magical book should be commended for giving us a precious gift that can support us in celebrating our differences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julie Lovisa VINE VOICE on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's never to early to teach your child the importance of harmony and tolerance and this little book is a great place to start. When some zebras lose their white stripes and others their black stripes, they must look inside themselves and each other to learn to get along.
I especially appreciated the very last page which placed the zebras with many children of different races and nationalities so that my 5-year old and I could talk about the differences in people, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old loves this book and it has a very positive message!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome VINE VOICE on September 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really love the wonderful message this book delivers, enough to buy another copy and keep them both.

People are more alike than they are different and this book does a great job of not letting us forget that beautiful message.

I highly recommend this book. The artwork is wonderful and I am so glad I purchased it.
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