Z Goes Home

Z Goes Home

5.0 1
by Jon Agee

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Jon Agee's choice of subjects is wonderfully various, ranging from Mirror and Newspaper to Gargoyle and Labyrinth. The letters are big, yet some are challenging to see -- the S-shaped seashore, for instance -- in a way that makes great exercise for the brain. This story may well spur the learning of letters, but well-lettered readers will enjoy it just as much. — Paul O. Zelinsky
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Agee (Milo's Hat Trick) serves up a witty, stylish abecedary that is deceptive in its simplicity. Edging slyly into the proceedings with a pair of "preview" pages that show a bold red "Z" in a "City Zoo" sign climbing down a ladder, Agee sets up the book's working premise even before the title page appears. And when it finally does, it's clear what's happening here-quitting time for the hard-working Z. What follows is a deliciously silly trek homeward as Z crosses paths with some odd creatures in equally odd places. Each turn of the page reveals the featured letter pictured as the word by which it's represented. "B," for instance, is turned on its side spanning a canyon as a "bridge" (Z can be seen through one of its arches, crossing to the other side), while below, an "A"-shaped alien lurks along the riverbank. (For art aficionados, the spirit of Escher's work seems to haunt a stairway constructed from the letter "E.") Z runs H-shaped hurdles past a G-shaped gargoyle, gets karate-kicked by a K-shaped black belt and lost in a labyrinth made from Ls, etc. He finally arrives at his house to find his family of fellow bold red letters awaiting. As in many of Agee's books, there's a clever surprise waiting for readers on the final page. Agee's strong graphic lines and bold shapes hint at alphabet blocks; even those new to the ABCs can track Z's cheerful presence across the restrained, earth-toned scenery. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this alphabet romp, Z leaves his post at the Zoo and makes his way home through a bizarre landscape where an Alien lands under a Bridge and Rocks line the Seashore. In the backgrounds, there is a hidden repeated letter shape young readers will have fun finding. Men hold up a Trophy and are in strange Uniforms featuring blue slippers and a U-shaped white collar. Except for the bare chests, they could be hospital orderlies. While the entire landscape makes little sense, Z perseveres in his journey and finally arrives home where the letters in his family, O-W-I-E await him. Zowie! An end page defines each boldface word succinctly. Geometric lines and linear shapes, and muted colors against which the barn-red Z stands out (or walks through,) make this fun to look at, as well. It definitely demands more world knowledge than the average toddler possesses and the word plan is aimed at the late preschool or early elementary audience. 2003, MDC Books/Hyperion, Ages 3 to 8.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The letter Z heads wordlessly home after a long day's work atop the city zoo's gates, and on his way, crosses a bridge formed by a horizontal capital B, takes several bites out of a cake and a doughnut, jumps a few hurdles, sustains a karate kick into the lake, loses his way in a labyrinth, narrowly escapes a viper beside a woodpile, and at last makes it home to his family. Although there is a basic, satisfying narrative here, each spread may be viewed and discussed independently. The full-color illustrations, like those in Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Houghton, 1984), are suggestive of entire worlds beyond the borders of the page, and could inspire young readers to create their own stories explaining Z's exploits. How does Z escape the labyrinth full of Ls? Why doesn't Z help that man struggling out of the quicksand? Is he contemplating taking a yoga class? Packed with sophisticated visual sleight of hand that may require second and even third glances to appreciate (the sinuous curve of seashore, the pooling of ink on a jetty), this is not a book for youngsters learning to recognize their letters. School-aged children, especially those enamored of the all-graphics, all-the-time approach of the "I Spy" books (Scholastic) and "Where's Waldo" series (Candlewick), would be the most appreciative audience for this quirky title.-Sophie R. Brookover, Mount Laurel Library, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Z, from the zoo sign, climbs down a ladder and escapes, he travels an alphabetic trek through double-paged scenes where unlikely pairing of words (one per letter) are quixotically juxtaposed: e.g., Z passes ALIEN and crosses BRIDGE (B turned sideways); on a wharf INK is spilled on the JETTY as a man KARATE kicks Z into the water. Z is an integral participant in each scene such as jumping HURDLES behind two men. Agee's clean graphic design energizes and dramatizes the bordered pages and the last page defines each word in wrap-around lines. And when Z reaches the end of the alphabet? "Zowie, I'm home!" There's complexity in the simplicity that should intrigue readers. The Z Is Zapped meets Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in this zany abecedarium that zips with zesty creativity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 12.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Z Goes Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an amazing book! My daughter just loves it, as she follows Z around. As good as MILO'S HAT TRICK!