Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-11-14 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 6 user ratings

"JULIUS ZEBRA: RUMBLE WITH THE ROMANS by Gary Northfield is a zany, fast-paced romp through ancient Rome starring a zebra, a lion, and a warthog.

Three captured African animals find themselves in the Colosseum where they must become gladiators to gain their freedom.

This first book in a new series concludes with a guide to Roman numerals and a glossary.

Librarians will find that this highly illustrated middle grade book is a hit with upper elementary children. The short chapters and one-stop action will keep even reluctant readers engaged.

To learn more about the author, go to

Published by Candlewick Press on April 12, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.
" said.

"Julius Zebra isn’t happy about going to the lake with his mum and older brother. The water is gross and smelly. He tries to imagine the water as crystal-clear sparkling water from a mountain, but as soon as he tastes it, he knows better.
He decides he is going home on his own, despite the warnings of being alone from an annoying know-it-all warthog that sees him. Suddenly they are both caught up in a stampede. There is a stalking lion nearby. Julius and the warthog escape up a hill, only to fall into a deep dark pit – with the lion!
He’s wishing he never left his family’s side when they are all pulled out in nets by strange looking creatures called people. Not just any people – Roman Centurions.

This is a hilarious beginning to this series. Friendship, time-travel, humour and animals all mixed together make a great read for 7+ boys and girls.
" said.

"I saw Julius Zebra: Rumble With The Romans on the shelf and couldn’t resist. It called to me: “Buy me! Buy me! I’ll make you happy! BUY ME!” so obviously I obeyed. Because you should never argue with books, especially the stripy kind.

Gary Northfield’s book ‘rumbled’ (like I wasn’t going to use that!) past my massive TBR-pile like a speedy Debra Zebra – I started reading it the day I bought it. That’s pretty rare at this point but I just didn’t want to wait. It was the right decision.

Adored the story and characters, particularly Cornelius the Warthog and of course Julius. The comics are integral to the story, not to mention brilliant. The whole book is entertaining, I was giggling for most of it.

If you need something to make you laugh Julius Zebra: Rumble With The Romans is it – I don’t care what age you supposedly are it works for everyone. Just remember Zebra’s don’t just eat grass and they most certainly aren’t horses!
" said.

"Julius Zebra's only concern at home on the African plains is the stinky lake water his mother tries to make him drink every Wednesday. Oh, and being eaten by an alligator or a lion. Otherwise life isn't too bad, but then Julius is captured and carted off to Rome where he's sent into the gladiator arena. Julius is just a zebra! He can't fight a gladiator! Can he?

"Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans" written and illustrated by Gary Northfield is the humorous tale of a zebra in the wrong place at the wrong time. Full of zany characters and comical illustrations, this book will likely be a hit with advanced early readers and younger middle-grade boys. The goofy humor and toilet jokes will likely appeal to this age range. Besides the jokes, there is also a surprising amount of historical information pertaining to Romans and gladiators. Complete with an explanation of Roman numerals and a glossary, the reader is sure to learn something new.

Thank you to Net Galley and Candlewick for a reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
" said.

"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.
" said.

"Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

Julius Zebra lives the life of a normal young zebra, fighting with his brother and being a bit picky about where he drinks his water. Who can blame him either? The local watering hole is full of alligators and stinks. When Julius tries to sneak away though, he ends up as a prisoner of Romans whose mission is to bring exotic animals back from Africa to be part of the games at the Colosseum. At first, Julius is excited thinking they are headed to some kind of circus to see juggling monkeys. He quickly learns that this is no circus, there are gladiators and they are intent on killing Julius and all of his new animal friends. Julius isn't going to go out without a fight and soon finds himself a crowd favorite and in training to become a real gladiator.

The premise: Ridiculous. The execution: Hilarious. Julius Zebra is

the perfect hero in this utterly preposterous adventure about a Gladiotar Zebra. Julius is the kind of animal that kids can relate to. He's a picky eater, can't stand his attention-seeking brother, and just wants to some freedom. Couple that with a rather dower and dier lion and a know-it-all warthog and this is a recipe for fun. I loved the little tid-bits of history and Latin terms mixed in with the absurd notion that a zebra could ever hold a sword, let alone fight. And let's not even talk about how the animals manage to blend in for a bit by wearing hats and mustaches. The illustrations are great and really add a comic book quality to the story. Kids are going to love this irreverent animal adventure and they may actually learn something in the process. Added bonus for the page numbers being in Roman Numerals and including a guide on how to read them in the back.
" said.

" This book was very funny and that the pictures were spot one. This book made me laugh the journey Julius had was so suspenseful. This book was very interesting. I recommend it. " said.

" Fun for any ageGreat humor and voice. The action and fast pacing keeps us going. This book made my commuting, so much easier. Also educative regarding roman gladiators. " said.

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