Noah Wild and the Floating Zoo
Alexander McCall Smith
128pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Noah and his sister Hatty live with their aunt and uncle, well mostly with their aunt because Uncle Loafy (a very good baker) is a sea captain and spends most of his time sailing to exotic places. To Noah’s great surprise, he discovers his uncle owns a zoo, given to him many years previously and managed by an old friend. But the friend wants to retire and there is no one to take over the zoo. While most of the animals have been sold to other zoos, there are four left – Henrietta the llama from South America, Mrs Roo the kangaroo from Australia, Ram the tiger from India and Monkey Robertson from Africa.
Uncle Loafy has decided he will return each one to their home country but although he has a boat and maps and charts , he doesn’t have a crew… Before he knows it, Noah and his family are setting sail on a round-the-world trip returning the zoo animals to the places they were born. But when they try to return Monkey Robertson, they’re in for a whole boat-load of trouble!
This is a light-hearted story that will appeal to young independent readers who like both humour and adventure. It would also make the perfect read-aloud to younger students who are learning to follow a serialised story -something new to add to the tried-and-true toolbox.