Cover image for Freya & Zoose
Title:
Freya & Zoose
ISBN:
9781524717711

9781524717728

9781524717742
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown Books for Young Readers, [2019]
Physical Description:
pages cm
Summary:
Freya, a penguin, and Zoose, a mouse, become friends while stowaways on Salomon August Andreé's 1897 hot air balloon expedition to the North Pole.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Audience:
810L Lexile
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Summary

Summary

Freya has always craved--and feared--adventure. Traipsing all over the world is simply not what dignified rockhopper penguins do. But when she hears about Captain Salomon August Andree's hot-air balloon expedition to the North Pole, Freya packs her copy of Hints to Lady Travellers and hops on board. Only moments after leaving land, Freya discovers a fellow stowaway! Meet Zoose, the scrappy, uncouth mouse whose endless wisecracks and despicable manners make him a less-than-ideal travel companion. When the hot-air balloon is forced to land in the Arctic, these polar opposites must learn how to get along. Their very survival depends on it. Debut author Emily Butler spins wonder and whimsy and Jennifer Thermes contributes over fifty black-and-white illustrations to bring this enchanting friendship tale to life.


Author Notes

Emily Butler is the eldest of seven children and grew up hiding behind the sofa so that she could read her books in peace and quiet. (It was never quiet.) She finished high school in Brazil, worked on a kibbutz in Israel, practiced law in New York City, catered weddings in London--and was never without a book in her backpack or briefcase. Emily recently moved to Utah with her husband. They live in an old house that is stuffed to the gills with three lovely but disobedient children, and every sort of book.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-A first-rate animal fantasy with themes of friendship and resilience. Freya the rock hopper penguin and Zoose the mouse become reluctant shipmates when they both stowed away on Captain Salomon August Andrée's real-life 1890's balloon expedition to the North Pole. The bird's wealthy Scandinavian upbringing has made her into a judgmental snob complete with a large inheritance, steamer trunks, and a known-by-heart copy of Mrs. L.C. Davidson's 1899 Hints to Lady Travellers at Home and Abroad (yes, dear reader, that is an actual book). The London-born rodent, by contrast, has skulked and thieved his way through Europe and has the tastes and diction to show for it. Both consider themselves ready to abandon the other as soon as possible, until the dangers of the ill-fated expedition put their lives in each other's hands. Told from Freya's third-person perspective in a droll mock-Victorian style clearly influenced by Mrs. Davidson's guide, this adventure story has it all: hardship, humor, and a narrative arc that shows the companions overcoming their past family traumas and mutual dislike to save themselves and each other. Thermes's winsome black-and-white illustrations capture the quirky setting, where proper penguins wear cravats and pearls to eat fish by chandelier light. This skillfully told first novel will make a popular read-aloud; it's a worthy successor to Chris Kurtz's Adventures of a South Pole Pig and Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. VERDICT A first purchase for all public and elementary school libraries.-Beth Wright Redford, formerly of -Richmond Elementary School Library, VT © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

An etiquette-obsessed penguin and a vagabond mouse accompany Swedish air balloonist S.A. AndrAce on his ill-fated journey to the North Pole. Ready for an adventure after being stranded alone for over a year, Swedish penguin Freya stows away with a group that plans to travel to the North Pole via hot air balloon. But she is not alone-mouse Zoose, a scrappy Londoner, has been "living in this basket ever since they built it." Freya finds the mouse "vulgar," but as the balloon loses altitude and the group switches to sledges, the two slowly bond. Freya saves Zoose after they end up in a meltwater pool, and Zoose returns the favor after a polar bear mauls Freya. The animals continue their journey, telling stories about their past, tagging after the humans, and meeting a "blindingly beautiful" snow fox, who enraptures the animals but misrepresents herself. As AndrAce and his team face grave danger and eventually die, Freya and Zoose realize that their future lies together. History and animal friendship combine to form a touching, if strange, travel narrative. Ages 8-12. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

First-time author Butler circumvents the fact that there are no penguins in the Arctic by delivering one there via hot-air balloon. Freya has an adventurer's heart, a passion stoked by her beloved book, Hints to Lady Travelers; but her careful preparations for stowing away in the hot-air-balloon basket of a human expedition to the North Pole are thrown off when another passenger appears in her hiding place a street-smart mouse named Zoose. Their odd-couple dynamic is instantly entertaining and deepens into friendship as they face life-threatening challenges in a hostile, frozen landscape. Thermes' frequent whimsical illustrations help soften some of the story's more harrowing moments. A word of caution, however (spoiler alert!): this is an ill-fated expedition, and one gutsy scene shows the last remaining human seated with a shotgun in his lap, which Zoose euphemistically describes as meeting death halfway. Young readers will likely have questions about this, and sensitive children will certainly be troubled. Nevertheless, this is a confident and sophisticated debut that will appeal to adventure-loving kids undeterred by nature's harsher side.--Julia Smith Copyright 2018 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

There was no question in Freya's mind that this was her last chance. Either she would find a way onto the balloon, or she would live out the rest of her days on this miserable rock. The men down on the beach nailed the boards of the balloon house together, a shed with no roof. The wind carried parts of their conversation up to Freya's hideout. From these snippets she knew that she had three nights to prepare for the journey. That was how much time she had to gather the courage to leave. Men had been here once before, a year ago. They had built the same shed, filled the balloon with gas, and then watched helplessly as the wind knocked it to the ground. They'd left with their tails between their legs. Freya had lacked the gumption to try her luck with that crew, but another year of solitude had almost driven her mad; now she'd do anything to get off the island. And there was something else: she wasn't a spring chick anymore. If she was going to save herself, it was now or never. No guts, no glory, she thought. Hideous expression. As the sun began to sink toward the edge of the sea, the men rowed themselves back to their big ship, where they ate and laughed and slept. Freya waddled down to the balloon house and slipped inside. Here she saw the great basket, not yet rigged to the balloon, in the middle of the floor. Would there be room for her and her things? The wicker was densely woven, but she gripped a piece in her beak and tugged. After an hour or so of this, she unraveled a gap large enough to squeeze through. And what luck! Once inside, she realized that the basket was made of not one but two layers of wicker, with cotton stuffed between them for warmth. Freya plucked some of it out and made a small compartment for herself. "Third-class passage," she sniffed, "but it will do."  Then there was much to-ing and fro-ing between the basket and her hideout, as she toted her supplies down to the shed and concealed them in her little berth. She ferried tins of sardines and stale biscuits. There was coffee powder that tasted faintly of dirt, and some mysterious potted meat. Precious packets of Baldwin's Nervous Pills were squirreled away, as was a suitcase crammed with extra sweaters and a lilac-colored woolen scarf." "Exhausted by this effort, Freya wove the wicker back together and hurried to her cave to rest. On the second night, she was at work again. This time she packed some cakes of chocolate, several items of a personal nature, a suet pudding that was probably five years past its prime, and many strips of bitter green moss that was said to prevent scurvy. Then she went home and crouched at the mouth of her cave to watch the activity on the shore. Men scurried this way and that. Some measured the speed and direction of the wind. Others oiled ropes and checked the contents of wooden chests. Freya saw the glint of brass nautical instruments. And above it all rose the glorious balloon, shining and rippling in the sun, growing more rotund by the hour as the men pumped it full of hydrogen. Freya stroked her beloved copy of Hints to Lady Travellers at Home and Abroad one last time to calm her nerves. How difficult the decision to leave the book behind had been. She could not in good conscience add any weight to the basket that wasn't strictly necessary to her survival--hadn't she snipped the very fringe off her boots to make them lighter? Anyway, she had long since memorized every word written by Mrs. Davidson, the woman who had governed her adventures. "My adventure," Freya corrected herself out loud. There had only been one so far, and look how that had turned out. Misadventure, more like. Tragedy, even! On the third night, Freya played a last round of checkers for old times' sake. Then she dropped the black and white pebbles out of the cave and listened to them skitter down the side of the cliff. It had taken her months to collect them, but there was nothing more depressing than playing checkers against oneself, even if one was guaranteed to win every time. She had come to despise the pebbles and the lonely way their clinks echoed off the walls of the cave. Good riddance to bad rubble, indeed!" She filled her canteens with water from the spring, and then there was almost nothing left for her to do except sweep out the cave with beach grass, which she did with scrupulous care. Freya removed Hints to Lady Travellers from its nook in the cave wall and cradled it in her wing. "I fear I've become strange," she admitted to its faded cover. Her final act was to heap some stones over the book, making a sort of tomb. She stood before the mound for a full minute. Then she buttoned her jacket, picked up her canteens, and made her way to the shed on the seashore. For the third and last time, Freya breached the basket and squeezed herself into the familiar cavity. She did her best to repair the wicker from the inside and waited for the sun to come up. Her heart drummed in her ears. Was she afraid she might be discovered? Was she anxious to begin the journey? She was many things, but mostly she was determined to leave." Excerpted from Freya and Zoose by Emily Butler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.