“MAESTRO STU SAVES THE ZOO,” by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Tim Bowers, Sleeping Bear Press, Sept. 1, 2012, Hardcover, $15.95 (ages 5 and up)
Stu loves the zoo. He’s been a regular visitor there since he was very young. He’s visited so often, even the animals know his name. At night, Stu can hear the animals cooing and snorting in their own version of an animal symphony.
As much as Stu loves the zoo, Mr. Cooper hates it. Instead, he’s like to use the land where the zoo sits to build a mall. Soon, he’s got the city officials on his side and the sale is all but a done deal.
When the animals learn of the plan, they decide to take action, but they don’t know how. Stu, on the other hand, has an idea — music. He’s always heard the animals’ symphony, now it’s time to let everyone hear it.
“Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo” is a beautifully illustrated picture book. Young children will enjoy all the detailed images of animals, though the story may be a little too complicated for those who haven’t started to read. There’s a lot of text here, and though the tale is engaging, it probably won’t work well for children with short attention spans. This is a good book to grow into.