First Come the Zebra

By University of Arizona, College of Education

This story highlights hope, sharing, and cooperation. As the animals share the richness that the grasslands provide, so tribes with different traditions and ways of life can develop an appreciation of each other and what each offers, learn to share resources, and work together. In an Author’s Note Barasch explains that the story was inspired after her trip to Kenya in 2007 where she met Kenyan people, talked with guides, and experienced life in different areas of the country. The Author’s Note includes information about the Maasai and the Kikuyu and how their present day youth are working to bring people together in a peaceful coexistence. The book also contains a map, a pronunciation guide, a glossary, and a list of sources.

Barasch’s illustrations, done in pen and ink watercolors, bring the text alive. Many are double page landscape spreads and highlight the vast grasslands, the animals’ yearly migration, and the beauty of Africa. Barasch’s use of soft colors emphasizes hope and peace for the future.