Northfield, Gary. Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans
April 12th 2016 by Candlewick Press
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Julius is slightly annoyed with his zebra family while living on the plains of Africa, especially his annoying brother and his mother, who makes him drink from the nasty river where all of the other animals so their business. He isn't annoyed enough to want to be caught by the Romans and taken all the way to Rome, but that's what happens! Along with Cornelius the warthog, Milus the lion, Pliny the mouse, and Lucia the Crocodile, Julius ends up in a gladiatorial school after doing well in the arena and being rewarded by Hadrian. The group have to learn to fight, wear "diapers", and generally get up to a lot of highjinks and have a lot of misunderstandings.
This is a British import, and The Book zone has a nice review of it. I'm surprised there aren't more books out-- it seemed like it might be a series.
Strengths: This is a bit like Stickman Odyssey, in that there are copious pictures and an attempt at presenting a bit of ancient history. It will be enormously popular and wear out quickly.
Weaknesses: Not a fan of the googly eyes animals or the potty humor, but can't deny the kid appeal.
What I really think: I'll buy it, but it wasn't as funny as Stick Dog.