A.J. Atlas is the creator of the Travels with Zozo... illustrated children’s book series. The adventures follow an adorable pet bunny as she vacations around the world with her human family.
Writing a series with each story as completely unique as the place it’s set in is a challenge Atlas enthusiastically embraces. Whether readers meet flamingos and viscachas on the Bolivian salt flats, elephants and baboons near Zambia and Zim- babwe’s great waterfall, or Icelandic horses under the Northern Lights, the widely differing settings provide a backdrop for readers to meet diverse characters and
Atlas’ extensive travel experiences in nearly fifty countries and throughout all fifty U.S. states provide firsthand insight into the set- tings for the books. From there, Atlas’ whimsical sense of humor, active imagination, and creative storytelling abilities bring to life the emotions and adventures of the series’ main character, a “hoppity, floppity, huggable, snuggable” pet bunny named Zozo. The series focuses on themes of making friends and strengthening family bonds while growing self-reliant and emotionally self-aware.
Though the first fourteen books of the series arrived on the scene all-at-once, the creation of Zozo developed slowly, over decades. It began with Atlas being a pet lover at heart who had long been denied a furry friend because of severe allergies. Throughout childhood, stuffed animals and a notebook helped channel this love toward storytelling. Then a zest for adventure travel took Atlas to wildly interesting places in adulthood, and the notebook filled with heart-warming stories blossomed further. Currently, Atlas continues to travel and write new stories while advising on the illustrations and production of the completed books in the series.
Atlas collaborates closely with award-winning illustrator Anne Zimanski. Together, they create rich, full-color 32-page books filled with bright, colorful, imaginative worlds, bursting with personalities, action, and emotion.
Likewise, Atlas works with publisher ImaginOn Books as they strive to make Travels with Zozo... their best travel series for young readers. Atlas’ personal experiences combine with the publisher’s extensive research on the landscapes, plants, and animals to create a rich sense of place in each book. The series explores Alaska’s coastal islands, Norway’s fjords, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Bolivia’s salt flats, Zambia and Zimbabwe’s waterfall, ancient cities of Nara, Japan, and Istanbul, Turkey, Argentina’s Andes Mountains, Iceland’s Northern Lights, Belize’s river caves, islands in Greece and the Eastern United States, Europe’s Flemish and Basque regions, and many more places.