Welcome to the April 7th stop on the blog tour for Zippy’s Special Gift by Therese Van Ryne, organized by iRead Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for reviews, interviews & guest posts with the author, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Writing a children’s book has always been on my bucket list. I was inspired to put my fingertips to my keyboard last April on a rainy Saturday afternoon. We were about a month into the shutdown caused by the pandemic, and I was looking for a creative outlet. As the lead of Public Relations and Philanthropy for Zebra Technologies, I am also inspired by our company mascot, Zippy the Zebra so it was natural to make her the lead character of “Zippy’s Special Gift”.
I was also inspired to write the book so that the proceeds from the sales of it could be donated to Bernie’s Book Bank which is a strategic charitable partner of Zebra Technologies. Our shared vision of promoting literacy for children of all ages and backgrounds helps make our world a better place. By connecting books with those who need them, Bernie’s Book Bank provides children the ability to learn about life through the characters.
Little did I know that in February 2021, “Zippy’s Special Gift” would receive a 5-STAR Readers’ Favorite Book Review. I am honored with the kind words Emily-Jane Hills Orford shared in her post about the book. In Emily-Jane’s words: “Therese Van Ryne’s picture book story, Zippy’s Special Gift, is a clever, positive way to teach young readers to enjoy the uniqueness of who they are. Following Zippy’s journey to discover her friends’ uniquely different special gifts, Zippy and young readers learn the importance of each special gift and accepting it. The plot develops nicely and the use of different animals with their different characteristics is a fun way to allow young readers to recognize differences. The colorful illustrations help carry the story along. This is a positive, compassionate telling of differences and why each difference is so important. It will help youngsters realize that they are each unique and perfect in their own special way. An important message that we all need to remember and sometimes re-learn. Beautifully told.”
I appreciate this review because it truly captures the essence of the book and the key themes I hoped to convey as I wrote it. Zippy the Zebra realizes she has unique qualities that are different from her friends, and they each have individual traits too – special gifts, if you will. It’s also been amazing to have parents reach out to me to share that after reading the book with their children, they have had conversations about what special gifts they each possess. I’m thrilled with this outcome and hope to have many more families connect in this way after reading “Zippy’s Special Gift” together.
Blogger’s note: For over 50 years, Zebra Technologies has helped people around the world with solutions to keep them connected and make better business decisions. Our mascot, Zippy represents our diverse culture and the fun we like to have at work. In “Zippy’s Special Gift,” Zippy introduces us to her connections – her best animal friends who help her make an important decision about herself. Check us out at www.zebra.com.
About the Book
Zippy’s Special Gift
by Therese Van Ryne
Published 2 March 2021
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Page Count: 38
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Zippy the Zebra doesn’t like her stripes. She doesn’t want to stand out! Follow Zippy as she embarks upon a thrilling adventure with her animal friends that helps her realize everyone is perfect just the way they are. Profits from the sales of Zippy’s Special Gift will be donated to one of Zebra Technologies strategic charitable partners, Bernies Book Bank, a non-profit organization that changes the story for under-served children and helps them read their way to a better life! Learn more at www.berniesbookbank.org.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
I was granted complimentary access to Zippy’s Special Gift as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title through iRead Book Tours. Thank you to all involved! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Zippy’s Special Gift is the story of a young zebra named Zippy who doesn’t like her stripes because they make her stand out and look different from all her friends. Her mother tells her these are her special gift and sends her out to ask her friends what theirs are, and along the way she learns what makes each of her different animal friends unique. She also learns that most of her friends don’t always like what makes them unique, either, so it’s perfectly normal!
I love the fact that this book is teaching kids that being different isn’t a bad thing, we’re all different in our own ways, and the things that make us different make us special. I’m glad to see a book that acknowledges that we don’t always like what makes us different, and that’s okay. It’s a good message!
My criticism for this book is that despite being written by/in partnership with animal experts, this book doesn’t attempt any mini science lessons by throwing in a line about WHY each animal’s unique attribute is a “special gift” other than Zippy being happy that her stripes make her look like her mother. How about the fact that it’s confusing to watch stripes on the move so it keeps them safe from predators? That’s not too difficult a concept for the age group that would benefit most from this book.
The artwork is adorable and will definitely captivate kids from toddlerhood through to early primary grades. This is a great book to have at home, in a classroom, or in a daycare setting.
About the Author
Zippy’s Special Gift is Van Ryne’s debut children’s book. She currently serves as the Global Director of PR, Thought Leadership and Advocacy for Zebra Technologies. One of PR News’ 2019 Top Women in PR, Van Ryne also has experience as a journalist, editor and producer, reporting nightly from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Enter to win: Autographed copy of ZIPPY’S SPECIAL GIFT (USA only, 1 winner, ends Apr 16)a Rafflecopter giveaway
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