‘The Emergency Zoo’ is a marvellous war time story from Miriam Halahmy inspired by real events during the Second World War. A tale of courage, hope and bravery which survives despite being the world being on the brink of the darkest of times. As the children of London are being prepared to be evacuated to the countryside our plucky heroines Tilly and Rosy discover that they won’t be able to take their beloved cat and dog with them. Just when they think it can’t get any worse they are horrified to learn that their pets along with many other animals are going to be taken to the vets to be put down. Refusing to accept this awful fate they come up with a plan to hide them in the woods and before long other children bring their animals along and their secret den becomes an emergency zoo.
Brilliantly written, Miriam’s wonderful characterisation allows us to get totally wrapped up in the lives of Tilly and Rosy and their families as they prepare for the realities of war. Despite the troubled times lying ahead there is an enormous sense of freedom enjoyed by children as they outwit the grown ups and go to extraordinary lengths to protect their precious animals. It allows children to have a small but fascinating insight into life during the Second World War. I felt like a child reading this book it reminded me of the stories I grew up with, most particularly Enid Blyton adventures. This is an irresistible, nostalgic adventure perfect for children who love animal stories and yearn for an exciting read.
Thank you to Alma books for sending me a copy of this book.