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*Beba and the Curious Creature Catchers* by Lydia Griffin

Beba and the Curious Creature Catchers
by Lydia Griffin
Ages 4-8 32 pages Laffin Minor Press February 2006 Hardcover    

Beba seems an ordinary little country girl with her overalls and red backpack. Her mother is an animal doctor, so naturally Beba loves animals as well. One morning a very, very strange face pokes through Beba’s window, announcing, “I’m Zilly the Zeebroose and the Curious Creature Catchers are after me. Will you help me?”

Of course Beba agrees, once she gets over the shock of this amazing animal, half-zebra and half-moose. With a twist of her magic straw, Beba and Zilly find themselves the forest, surrounded by concerned animals. Zilly paints all of them in bright colors - red, purple, blue and green – making Zilly less obvious among the others.

With another twist of the straw, Beba is tiny enough to ride on the wings of a cardinal; she overhears the Creature Catchers mumble of their confusion when faced with polka-dotted and striped furry faces, but a sudden rainstorm washes all the color from the animals, leaving Zilly exposed.

Beba isn’t worried, taught by her father a long time ago to “always have a Plan B.” One blow on the straw and Beba becomes a giant who scares the Curious Creature Catchers right out of the forest, never to return. Her job done, Beba twists the straw one more time, transporting her back home with only a telltale smear of rainbow paint on the front of her overalls.

This fantastical tale is filled with the whimsy of exotic creatures, a little magic and the evil Creature Catchers who threaten the security of the forest. Working together with Beba as their clever guide, Beba’s new friends banish the Creature Catchers.

The Curious Creature Catchers are truly frightening, their sharp teeth and gargoyle faces in sharp contrast to the wide-eyed animals who seek the Beba’s help. Not to worry. The Creature Catchers are sent packing by Beba and her magic straw, leaving all the animals, including Zilly the Zeebroose, content in their leafy home.

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  Luan Gaines/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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