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But then, one evening, a stranger came.

Nobody dared to ask her name.

She came on a bicycle decked with flowers.

(They say she rode for hours and hours.)






What will the animals of Yawnalot (a sleepy old place) make of Abracazebra and her magic show?

Abracazebra is a story about accepting difference… and conquering jealousy. It’s also about magic!

Abracazebra was written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty. It was published in the UK by Alison Green Books  in February 2015.  Abracazebra has been translated into Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian and Slovenian. It was shortlisted for the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book Award 2016, and read on CBeebies Bedtime Stories by the actor Aaron McCusker.

Abracazebra has also been adapted for stage by Piotr Bujak and performed at the Abhainn Ri Festival of inclusion and participation in Callan, Ireland. You can read more about it here, and also watch a brief clip.

Buy Abracazebra here through Hive.co.uk

If you live outside the UK, you can buy it here.

You can download an Abracazebra Spot the Difference Activity Sheet here

An Abracazebra picture to colour in here

And an Abracazebra mask to make here !


“The rhyming story is delightful and children will revel in it over and over. The lively, glorious illustrations are perfectly matched to create another soon-to-be-favourite about friendship, acceptance and celebrating our differences. There is a subtle, yet important message concerning dealing with negative feelings. But more to the point, there is great joy and the wonder of magic! A must-read for everyone!”

 - Mary Esther Judy, Fallen Star Stories


 ”A class of six year olds rated this highly: ‘This can happen in real life.’”

- Libby Allman, children’s book specialist


“We really enjoyed Abracazebra. As a teacher, I found it perfect for promoting discussion about being different.”

- Ruth Dorset, Manadon Vale Primary School, Plymouth


“A warm-hearted story told in rhyming text about jealousy, inclusion and learning to say you are sorry. Great for summer afternoon storytimes and really useful for PSHE.”

- Education Library Service Online


 ”A charming story with a message. Appealing illustrations will delight and rhyming text adds to the appeal. A good sharing read.”

- Peters Books


“Each page in this wonderful book is overflowing with lovely illustrative detail. Who knew a zebra could look so forlorn? The rhyming text is a pleasure to read out-loud and the message of acceptance lends itself to all sorts of interesting conversations. An excellent choice with which to celebrate the Year of the Goat.”

 - myfriendlucy.wordpress.com, New Zealand


“Abracazebra is a delightful rhyming picture book featuring a fun collection of animal characters, whimsical illustrations, and important underlying messages about jealousy and celebrating diversity.  This book would make a great read-aloud book in an early elementary classroom or library circle and I highly recommend it to children ages 4 to 8.”

- Mother Daughter Book Reviews


“Helen’s rhyming prose doesn’t skip a beat, and Thomas’s sprightly use of two-page spreads provides the reader a flowing reading experience that makes it prime read-aloud material.”

- Talking Animal Addicts


Praise for the Dutch version of Abracazebra:

“An important message… delightful illustrations, entertaining characters and a well-constructed plot.”

- This is How We Read