View sample pages from "The Zabajaba Jungle"

The Zabajaba JungleThe Zabajaba Jungle

Full-color pictures by the author
32 pages - Ages 3-8
LC 87-17690 - $15.00
ISBN:  0-374-38790-7
Sunburst Paperback - $4.95
ISBN: 0-374-49594-7

"Leonard slashes his way into the Zabajaba Jungle to find an amazing world of exotic insects, birds and plants . . . Steig's picture book transcends its adventure-story roots and reveals epic elements . . . every page is a feast; bounteous tropical flora and imaginative creatures abound in this lush primeval jungle . . . A brilliant prize." --*Starred Review/Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Notable Children's Book of the Year


Kirkus Reviews - *starred review
A boy has a dreamlike adventure in a mellow, fantastic, inimitably Steig-imagined jungle.

Unlike Sendak's Max, Leonard doesn't know why he finds himself slashing his way into the previously unpenetrated vegetation; he just knows he must push on. There are "squawking birds and raucous insects" as well as hungry plants. He explores a petrified monster, from gullet to "the great cloaca." Napping in a hammock, he wakes to find a heap of snakes beneath him, and "wishes he was home in bed." But not yet -- there are still to be encounters with a shy bird named Flora; a giant flower and a group of mandrills, who take him to court for drinking the nectar of the Jabazaba Flower (he escapes by setting off a fireworks display) before he frees his parents from a glass bottle and shows them the way home.

As always, Steig's pictures are comic, full of lovely nuances of color and design, and lead the eye pleasantly from page to page. This may be Kafka's benign flip side, but why not just relax and enjoy it?

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