Eerdmans Books for Young Readers The Brothers Zzli
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers The Brothers Zzli

The Brothers Zzli

By Alex Cousseau


Publication Date: October 24, 2023

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Ages 6 to 10

A moving allegory of immigration and hospitality.  

One day, the brothers Zzli come to the doorstep of a little girl named Welcome. Welcome has plenty of room in her big, empty house, and the travelers—who have come from far away—make good pancakes and even better company. But others in the forest find this new family strange, even dangerous. When the bears invite their neighbors to a big party, only

Welcome’s friend the bat shows up. Soon after that, a policeman knocks on their door, threatening to destroy the brothers’ beloved beehives. Maybe Welcome and her friends need to find someplace that might accept three bears, a bat, and a girl like her: somewhere to call home at last.

With charming, delightful illustrations reminiscent of vintage children’s classics, The Brothers Zzli invites readers to join a bear family’s search for belonging in a world that views them with suspicion. This poignant story will spark lasting conversations about the impact of prejudice, the struggles of refugees, and the responsibility we have to our neighbors—especially the new ones.

About the Author

Alex Cousseau has published over eighty books for children in his native France. His works have been honored with many awards, including the Premio Andersen Prize in 2021 and the Bologna Ragazzi Fiction Award in 2018. The Brothers Zzli is Alex’s English-language debut. Visit his website at

Anne-Lise Boutin is a French artist and illustrator whose work is inspired by the mysterious and marvelous. She studied art at the Duperré Art School and at the Arts Décoratifs School, both in Paris. The Brothers Zzli is Anne-Lise’s English-language debut. Follow her on Instagram @anneliseboutin.

Vineet Lal is a literary translator of books from French to English, including A Perfect Spot and A Head Full of Birds (both Eerdmans). He studied French at Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh. Vineet lives in Scotland. Follow him on Twitter @vineet_uk.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Length: 40 pages

Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780802856098

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