The Story of Z

The Story of Z

by Jeanne Modesitt, Lonni S. Johnson

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sick and tired of being last all the time, and after receiving little support from the other letters, the letter Z marches off in a huff to start her own alphabet. Things are not the same without Z: planes oom and ig-ag across the sky, ebras kick up their heels at the oo and children pay no attention as grandparents admonish them to ip up their ippers. Meanwhile, Z is having difficulty recruiting letters from other alphabets to join her, and other symbols and shapes have only their own interests at heart. Finally a sensitive street sweeper plucks the forlorn Z from a pile of leaves and manages to convince her to resume her unique contribution to the world. This existential romp through the world of letters is oddly intriguing despite occasionally cumbersome phraseology. The long, complicated text sometimes places an uneasy distance between reader and story , a failing largely overcome by the spare and beautiful watercolors rendered in suitably otherworldly hues. Shapes that are at once different and familiar are balanced against a barren landscape with a captivating degree of tension. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Z is tired of being last. The other letters protest, but she is determined to go on strike. She walks away into a beautifully bizarre, angular landscape of elegant yellows and violets. Suddenly the world is without her services. Planes can't zoom any longer, but only oom. Children ask to go to the oo to see the ebras. While things are falling apart in the old alphabet, Z is busy trying to organize a new one with herself as the star. But Z's new companions are creatures of the dark who look like snakes and other wrigglies. They are anything but cooperative and Z's efforts end in a brawl. At last she is discovered by a street sweeper who begs her to resume her old place. When she does, all is at last well since people can finally go to bed in peace (Zzzz). Modesitt's zaniness is perfectly teamed with Johnson's zeal to zero in on a story of unparalleled zest. Every page zings with zip, zapping readers with the zenith in contemporary zeitgeist. Thanks, Z! --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX

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Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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