I found Zootopia: The Big Case at our town library. This Level 3 “Step Into Reading” book was written by Bill Scollon.
The book follows the plot of the movie. Judy Hopps might be a little bunny, but she has big plans to become a police officer. Her wish comes true, and while on the job, she encounters local grifter Nick Wilde. Judy doesn’t think very highly of Nick, but she realizes that she needs his help to solve a big case. This unlikely duo must work together to figure out why animals keep disappearing.
I could go on, but that would result in key plot points and spoilers being revealed. Readers should know that this book covers the entire movie. This isn’t a problem with the book, but if you read the book before you see the movie, you’ll know all the big surprises. This is not necessarily a negative; in fact, this might be a benefit for families whose children need to know what happens before they see the movie. Regardless, it’s something that people should know before purchasing this book.
The text is ideal for readers who have a grasp of phonics and sight words, but are not yet ready for long paragraphs. The sentences are short, and often broken up over 2-3 lines:
“After a busy morning,
she sees a fox.
She thinks he looks sly.
She follows him.”
The illustrations are bright and colorful. They look just like the images in the movie. They have done a nice job with capturing facial expressions that convey what the characters are feeling; the text is straightforward and doesn’t really include that.
I would recommend The Big Case. This is a great book for helping young readers strengthen their skills. The Big Case is written at around a first grade level, so readers around that range will enjoy this book. I’ll reiterate that the text is simple, so fluent readers might be better off with the junior novelization version of Zootopia.