Zoe loves living with her family at Tanglewood - splashing with penguins, feeding lemurs their breakfast, and even seeing baby zebra, Flash, being born!
Then disaster strikes when Flash goes missing. Can Zoe help rescue him in time for the grand opening?
Review: this is the first in a series of middle grade novels by Tamsyn Murray and so in this book we get to meet a new family, moving in and taking over Tanglewood Animal Park. The main character who will take us on our Tanglewood adventures over the series is Zoe. Zoe has had to move home and is now facing the start of a new school year in a new school but she is animal mad and so we hope that things are going to work out well for her. I really like the fact that we saw everything through Zoe's eyes in this book. It meant that we could relate to everything and really get to know how she was feeling. I liked her as a character and love the fact that she is going to be taking us on the Tanglewood adventures.
Of course we have Zoe's mum and dad in this book, as well as little brother Rory, vet Max, the other keepers and Zoe's new freind Oliver. Oliver adds a lot to the mix in this book, he seems to be a bit of a problem for Zoe, but I like the fact that she has this adversity to overcome. I'm really looking forwa to getting to know Oliver as the books go on (great name too!). Of course the other characters we get to grab just a glimpse of in this book are the animals in the park. This book obviously has a focus on a new baby zebra but there are also some seriously cute guinea pigs (my favourite) as well as snow leopards, lemurs and other big cats. I'm really looking forward to meeting more of them in future books.
You can tell that this book was seriously well-researched. There is a lot of technical information woven into the storyline. It is written so well that you might not notice it unless you were looking for it but all the details about the care of the animals, the wildlife park itself and technical details about the creatures too is clearly well-checked. I felt like a learned a little about animal care when reading this, and also a little about what it takes to run a zoo/wildlife park. It never felt like I was being 'told' these things though and so I think that Tamsyn has done a really great job of mixing fact and a great storyline featuring a cracking heroine. I really recommend that you add this book to your shelves or give it to someone as a back to school present and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!