Tuesday, 5 July 2011

review: Zorgamazoo

by Robert Paul Weston
Razorbill, 2008
middle-grade fantasy

Summary (okay, so maybe my rhyming meter sucks):
Here is a story that's stranger than strange
but don't think you're crazy or slightly deranged!
The tale of a girl named Katrina Katrelll,
Morty the zorgle tagging along as well.
They're on an adventure, a veritable quest
to save dragons, the griffins, the trolls and the rest
from an extinction too awful to bear.
How can they escape from the breadth of a hair?
The cover:

Look! Balloons! But the balloons are actually the awards this book has won! Now that's awesome designing. The crunchy font of the title is fun too, and I love the red cowboy boots.

The book:

Zorgamazoo is written entirely. in. rhyme. Which makes it impossible not to read aloud. Seriously, you'll read the first two lines and be compelled to say them out loud. The meter is solid the whole way through, too, and the vocabulary is unusually lush and expressive.

Characters and plot don't suffer because of the rhyme, either. katrina is a brave heroine who has her tantrum-y moments. Morty never wanted to be a hero, but he learns in his own timid yet appealing way that being a hero comes in many different ways. A truly fantastical storyline keeps readers captive with Enchantium gas, a scarily boring alien planet named Graybalon-Four and on Doctor LeFang armed with  a "Cranial Puncturing Mincer of Mind". There isn't a lack for touching scenes, either; Weston cleverly turns a death into an occasion to celebrate:
Don't worry, my reader. No need to be sad. / A death isn't always entirely bad. / Among zorgles, for instance, a life that is long / is a life best remembered with dancing and song. (272)
Oh, and you cannot overlook the illustrations and design. Victor Rivas Villa has the most adorable detailed illustrations of Katrina, Morty and many other characters, and Christian Fuenfhausen, miracle book designer that he is, uses a wondrous variety of fonts. They're so awesome it's mindboggling:



Rating: 4.5 out of 5