By Raul Garcia Jr.
Most people will never write a book in their lifetime. One recent high school graduate was determined to get it done before starting college.
Arbez the friendly Zebra is a children’s book written by Victoria Moreno and was published by Outskirts Press in April of this year. She said it took her a lot of writing over the years and help from her brother Leroy Moreno Jr. who illustrated the book.
“I wanted something different where kids could say — Wow,” the author said. “This is the first time I read something like this.”
Her book details the social problem of bullying through the experience of a zebra that does rope tricks. Moreno hopes the book will help teach children not to bully other students at school. In the story Arbez the zebra quickly becomes the outsider at a farm and found himself unwelcome by all the animals because he is different.
“The book is helpful and it teaches kids not to be so hard on somebody,” the author said.
Moreno recalls letting her imagination run wild at her grandfather’s farm. At a young age she would often wonder what it would be like if the farm animals could speak and later she turned them into characters and started writing it all down. The zebra became her favorite and because it was so different from all the other animals she related social differences and found the basis of her book to not judge someone because they are different.
“I do plan to continue more stories along the way,” Moreno said. “It’s something that I enjoy doing.”
The entering college freshman is considering psychology as her major but she hasn’t completely taken business off the table. After all her family owns the Moreno’s Feed and Pet Stores in Weslaco and Donna where she has spent time working.