** spoiler alert **
It's all fun and games until the giraffe loses its head...
When the Baghdad Zoo is destroyed during a bombing raid, most of the animals are thrilled at a chance for freedom. Then you-know-what happens to a giraffe, and things go swiftly downhill from there.
The artwork in this book is breathtakingly GORGEOUS, though unfortunately on the gruesome side. (Seriously, it's the most beautifully rendered headless giraffe I've ever seen!) There's a lovely panel of sun-dappled animals drinking from the Tigris, and fantastic depictions of lions roaming the wasted city and ruined palaces.
The big problem for me was that the lions talked. That made the whole thing just a wee bit too Disneyesque, and with the extremely graphic violence and lion-on-lion sex, this is definitely NOT a book for the kiddies. And sadly, for this pride, there was no velvety-voiced Mufasa in the sky to offer advice. They were utterly on their own.
If this had been presented as a wordless graphic novel, it could have been amazing, but despite the flaws, it is still an unusual and interesting look at the unintended consequences of war.