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Zippy’s Special Gift by Therese Van Ryne – Book Review: #RWYK CERTIFIED GREAT READ

Zippy’s Special Gift by Therese Van Ryne is a gem!  We hope this latest addition to our Reading With Your Kids Certified Great Read will be a helpful tool in talking to your kids about how being yourself and being unique is actually a really great thing.

Congratulations to Therese Van Ryne for winning the certified great read status for her wonderful book, Zippy’s Special Gift!


Mom’s Choice Award®️Winner (Gold) and Recipient of Five-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

Zippy's Special Gift by Therese Van RyneZippy the Zebra doesn’t like her stripes. She doesn’t want to stand out! Follow Zippy as she embarks upon a thrilling adventure with her animal friends that helps her realize everyone is perfect just the way they are. Profits from the sales of Zippy’s Special Gift will be donated to one of Zebra Technologies’ strategic charitable partners, Bernies Book Bank, a non-profit organization that changes the story for under-served children and helps them read their way to a better life!



About Therese Van Ryne



Every child is unique with their own talents, interests, personalities, and physical appearance. Zippy’s Special Gift, a children’s picture book written by Therese Van Ryne that celeberates uniqueness in kids. It’s a beautifully illustrated book for ages 5-10.  Letting children know that their differences are what make them special can be a challenging message to get through when the world is telling them otherwise. Hearing stories about the charachters who are different from the crowd can help. Zippy’s Special Gift shows kids why it’s ok to be different and let their uniquness shine.

The book follows the story of a young and playful Zebra named Zippy who had many friends like Duck, owl, frog, Dog, and Monkey. But Zippy doesn’t like her stripes as this makes her feel different from her other animal friends. She tells her mother that she wants to look like her friends. Her mother explains that Zippy’s stripes are her special gift and should be celebrated. She further tells Zippy that each one of us is unique and all her friends have special gifts too that make them different from each other. She advises her to embrace and love her special gift. In the end, Zippy learns that her stripes are what make her unique and her special gift from God.

 The animals in this book are all very different and although they do not like their specific feature they soon realize these differences are the special gifts that make them unique! Some have webbed feet, others can make sounds like a hoot, while one of his friends can take a leap.

The message?  Differences are a cause for celebration! And the novelty items–
like tail, zebra stripes, webbed feet of a duck–add to the fun.

We love this particular rhyme from the book –

“Now I know why I have my stripes,”
Zippy said as her voice rang true.”

“These stripes are my
special gift because they
make me look like you!”

It sends such a fantastic message of self-acceptance. We love that this book can preach to kids without preaching at all.



Zippy’s Special Gift is a great book to encourage kids to have courage and belief in themselves and others will follow. The illustrations by Walter Policelli will stun you, they are so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!


AUTHORS! Want your book reviewed on our site? We would love to write an honest book review on your book and offer added benefits with our Reading with Your Kid certified status package. Go to the Reading With Your Kids Certified Page to get a glimpse of what you will be getting with the package.

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