15 November 2010

Review: Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston

Katrina Katrell is an adventuresome girl who lives with Mrs. "Krabby" Krabone. When her creative and active intelligence becomes too much for her guardian, Katrina decides to run away.

Mortimer "Morty" Yorgle lives underground in Zorgamazoo and wants nothing more than to write his sports columns and visit his dad who is ill. But one day Morty gets picked to enter the lottery, and his prize is the dubious honor of getting a chance to search far and wide for the lost Zorgles of Zorgamazoo.

When Katrina and Morty meet up one day just when they each are in dire need of help, they combine their talents and take off for the adventure of a lifetime.

Robert Paul Weston's Zorgamazoo is a scary, funny, gross, and exciting tale told in rhyming couplets. The heroes are an improbable team of a young girl and a rumply middle-aged Zorgle journalist who will capture your imagination and take your whole family on a mission to solve a Zorgamazoo mystery. Boys and girls, young and old will find themselves captivated by the spunky girl and her mild-mannered friend. The pair travels to strange lands where they meet all kinds of creatures, and they aren't quite sure if they will ever manage to make it back home.

To give you a flavor of the text, here's a bit from the publisher's summary:

Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings?

Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . .

What was it she saw? I’d rather not say. (Who’s ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?)

But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I’ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!
I was lucky enough to have listened to the audio edition (Penguin Audio) read by the fabulous Alan Cumming. This is a charming audio production that is brilliantly narrated by Cumming and can be enjoyed by all ages. Reading rhyming couplets is not an easy task, and Cumming is just the right kind of dramatic and never falls into singsong. My full audio review will be published by AudioFile magazine in the coming weeks.

One warning: Krabby is a bit mean and some children may be frightened; the target age for the book is age nine and older. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to share this story with any child over about six, but only you know your child. Even though the story is about a girl, there is plenty of boy humor.

Don't miss out on the Zorgamazoo website for samples and drawings and more about the book and Robert Weston's blog for more about the author. Zorgamazoo won The Silver Birch Award and an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor award.

Zorgamazoo at Powell's
Zorgamazoo at Book Depository
For the audio edition click on the links in the sidebar
These links lead to affiliate programs

Published by Penguin Group / Razorbill, 2010
ISBN-13: 9781595142955
YTD: 101
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: A

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

This review will also be linked at Julie's blog Booking Mama: "Every Saturday, [she hosts] a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books."


Unknown 11/15/10, 7:04 AM  

I don't think I've ever read a whole book that rhymes, but it would be interesting to try one. This sounds fun - especially listening to it. Thanks for drawing it to my attention :-)

Julie P. 11/15/10, 7:32 AM  

Sounds fun! Thanks for adding the Kid Konnection button!

Anonymous,  11/15/10, 10:06 AM  

This sounds like a fun and I absolutely love Alan Cumming. I may listen even though I don't have anyone in the age range for it.

bermudaonion 11/15/10, 2:28 PM  

I was thinking that wouldn't be an easy book to read aloud, but it sure does sound like fun!

Rebecca Rasmussen 11/15/10, 2:41 PM  

I'm definitely going to hunt this one down, although Bermuda Onion is like me: I get all tongue twisted easily! Thank you for the suggestion!

Dorte H 11/16/10, 7:31 AM  

I must remember to show my daughter this when I come home. She´ll enjoy the couplets and the Zorgles.

Veens 11/16/10, 7:40 AM  

I think I will get an headache if I were to read it. I am not so cool with a whole book of rhyming words... but then I have never tried that :)

Laura at Library of Clean Reads 11/20/10, 3:50 PM  

This book reminds me of Dr Zuess books, which we absolutely love to read. The intelligent rhyming, of course. My son would love this!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) 11/21/10, 10:09 AM  

I absolutely LOVED his YA title Dust City. I highly recommend reading it. Here's a link to my review.

LitLass 11/22/10, 11:47 PM  

This sounds like something my 7-year-old would love. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous,  3/25/11, 8:09 PM  

Hi Beth, thanks for the review. I agree, Alan's reading was stellar! I'm so happy he was nominated for an Audie Award. Thanks, also, for turning some other folks on to the book. I appreciate it!

Very best,

Anna,  11/28/11, 6:11 PM  

I love the book if u did not read it u have to i am doing a book report on it (i am in grade 6)
so good luck robert i hope u keep making books


Robert Paul Weston 11/29/11, 4:39 PM  

Thanks for the comment, Anna! Beth tweeted me about this, so I thought I'd stop by. Very happy to hear you liked the book. I'm working on new things; hopefully they'll come out within the next year or so. In the meantime, if you want to hear a clip of the audiobook, it's right here: http://robertpaulweston.com/media/

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

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