Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons by Gary Northfield
Published by Walker Books
Julius the Zebra is the people’s champion. Everybody loved & admired him. All except Emperor Hadrian.
Emperor Hadrian had promised Julius & his fellow gladiators their freedom if they won one more fight for him in the Colosseum arena. But alas the Emperor was also a liar.
After winning the fight Julius Zebra, Lucia Crocodile, Rufus Giraffe, Cornelius Warthog, Felix Antelope & Milus Lion were sent by the Emperor on a special mission to Britannia instead of having their freedom or holibobs. Septimus who is the boss of the gladiator school at Ludus Magnus, which was Rome’s biggest & best gladiator school, was to accompany them.
They had to travel by boat for weeks to get to Britannia before they had to fight the Britons. Along the way the gladiators learnt that the Britons hated the Romans and wanted to break the Romans rule over Britannia. The gladiators were forced to swab the decks & sleep in waterlogged conditions below decks and also suffered sea-sickness along the way. When they finally arrived in Britannia they found it to be always raining and very cold.
The gladiators were defeated in the first round of fighting with the Briton gladiators, but after winning the second round of fighting, Emperor Hadrian had the Roman Gladiators captured and thrown into prison.
Thinking he will kill off Julius once & for all, Emperor Hadrian had him captured then stitched up in a sack with two venomous snakes. Unfortunately for the Emperor, the snakes were big fans of Julius and would not bite him with their venomous fangs.
All ends well when Julius is rescued by his fellow Roman gladiators who have banded with the local Briton gladiators. They all fight back against Emperor Hadrian & his soldiers, winning the battle and claiming freedom for themselves & the people of Britannia.
I enjoyed the illustrations & cartoons dispersed throughout the book. They added a funny but pertinent side to the story. I can see this book appealing to any child who dislikes traditional novels but does not want to be observed reading comics continually either. This is a book that teaches about Rome, the Roman period, Roman numerals & history in a humorous style.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Gary Northfield
Title: Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: June 2016