Review by Kirkus Book Review
Has Plum's pep deserted him? Several animals from the Athensville Zoo are on their way to visit an elementary school. Overconfident Itch the ningbing (an Australian marsupial), unaware that zookeeper Lizzie will be doing all the talking, looks forward to "lecturing eager young minds." Plum, the usually chipper peacock, on the other hand, is anxious--maybe the schoolchildren won't like him or he'll get lost. So when they arrive at the school to find the students have been sent home due to a blizzard, Plum is relieved. The animals are left in a school gym for the night until three self-important class mice free them. Itch heads for the library to meet the learned turtle, but Plum reluctantly explores with his friends. When his anxiety peaks, they reassure him, and when the mice reject Meg, another peacock, as "borrrring" and uncool, they buoy her as well before everyone comes together to save Itch, who finds himself outside and stranded in a snowdrift. Unlike Leave It to Plum (2022), this is not a mystery, and the relationship focus shifts from Lizzie to the rodents, but the pace is brisk, and sequel seekers will be pleased to revisit familiar characters (if dismayed that Itch's longing for knowledge leads to his downfall). In Phelan's engaging grayscale pen-and-wash illustrations, Lizzie has short curly hair; text and art cue her as Latine. Lively fun with animal friends. (how to draw Plum) (Chapter book. 7-10) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.