Zagazoo

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Overview

George and Bella are delighted when they receive an adorable Zagazoo. But as time goes by they find the Zagazoo changes, from a sweet baby, to a screeching vulture, a clumsy elephant, and even a fire-breathing dragon. Just when they reach their wits end, he becomes a wonderful, polite young man. But nothing stays the same for long in this clever tale about the joys and hazards of child-rearing.

The postman brings George and Bella a delightful pink creature, who ...

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Quentin Blake NY 1998 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. Folio-over 12-15" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing).

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Overview

George and Bella are delighted when they receive an adorable Zagazoo. But as time goes by they find the Zagazoo changes, from a sweet baby, to a screeching vulture, a clumsy elephant, and even a fire-breathing dragon. Just when they reach their wits end, he becomes a wonderful, polite young man. But nothing stays the same for long in this clever tale about the joys and hazards of child-rearing.

The postman brings George and Bella a delightful pink creature, who suddenly turns into a vulture, a warthog, a dragon, a hairy monster, and other destructive and annoying creatures.

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Editorial Reviews

Abbott Combes
Blake's dead-on illustrations and 574 well-suited words capture perfectly the joy of bringing someone new into the world, the struggle of readying him to go out into it and the satisfaction of seeing him get there.
New York Times Book Review
Antoinette Botsford
This exceptional picture book revisits the realm of childhood with all its tricksterish elements. The Zagazoo, a baby delivered by the postman and tossed about like a ball by two parent-types, turns out to be a shapeshifter, becoming a vulture with terrifying shrieks, then a small elephant, a warthog, a dragon, and a host of other allegorical selves. Parents will certainly experience this book differently than children, but the funny pictures and concept will engage everyone.
Napra Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Blake's (Clown) meditation on the stages of childhood introduces George and Bella, a "happy couple" who receive a brightly wrapped package in the mail. Opening it, the seemingly clueless duo discovers "a little pink creature, as pretty as could be"; an accompanying label identifies the baby as "Zagazoo." Blake's characteristically whimsical watercolors show the two (in a rather reckless pastime) spending "happy days throwing it from one to the other." Then one day the parents awaken to find that Zagazoo has morphed into a screeching baby vulture. The infant's subsequent and alternating identities include a mud-tracking warthog, a fire-breathing dragon and a wailing bat. In adolescence, the fellow turns into a hairy creature, then a young man with "perfect manners" who falls in love with a young woman. When Zagazoo and his beloved go to tell his parents that they wish to marry, the story abruptly switches perspective: the young couple finds that George and Bella have changed into a pair of pelicans. "Isn't life amazing!" concludes Blake's chimerical commentary on the phases of life. Youngsters may find this more puzzling than amazing; it's adult Blake devotees who will most appreciate this quirky tale. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Orosz
This book for young children has delightful illustrations by the author. Quentin Blake has a well-earned reputation for his sketch-like drawings that tell much of the story on their own. Unfortunately, the story itself is a disappointment. Although an adult reader can tell that the author is attempting to tell a story about the stages of child development in a humorous fashion, the analogies seem too outlandish. It begins with a couple finding a package on their doorstep that turns out to be a baby named Zagazoo. The only interaction the parents subsequently have with the baby is "throwing it from one to the other." Thereafter, as the child grows, the parents are passive observers of his outrageous, exasperating behavior until one day he suddenly turns into a model young man. The story ends with him meeting and introducing his girlfriend to his parents, who themselves then turn into pelicans. The story begins and ends strangely, leaving the reader who has certainly enjoyed the illustrations, wanting for a story equally as entertaining.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 One day, George and Bella receive a package containing "a little pink creature," which, anyone can see, is a baby. It is labeled "Zagazoo." They love him and continue to enjoy life until their Zagazoo starts changing into other animals (a baby vulture, an elephant, a warthog, etc.) and they are very unhappy. Adults will quickly realize that the child is going through different stages of development, but young readers probably won't get the idea. Finally, the creature changes into a "young man with perfect manners." He is wonderful to have around, and soon he meets a young lady with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. However, when they go to tell George and Bella their plans, they find that the older couple have turned into large brown pelicans. This is a curious story with Blake's usual quirky illustrations, and what it is saying is anyone's guess. The plot is thin and the subtlety will be quite beyond most children. Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Blake's take on the stages of childhood is entertainingly offbeat but right on target. George and Bella spend many happy days making model airplanes, dusting, and eating ice cream, but it's no surprise that their baby, Zagazoo, is delivered in a lumpy postal parcel. George and Bella add another activity to their happy days—"throwing [Zagazoo] from one to the other." One morning, the pretty little baby has become a large baby vulture with terrifying screeches, highly vocal at night. At their wit's end, they get a reprieve when the vulture turns into a small, unwittingly destructive elephant, but the transformations are not over. Zagazoo is next a mud-loving warthog, a fire-breathing dragon, and so on, until one day he is a young man with perfect manners and a liking for the young Mirabelle. They are united, but George and Bella have transformed into a pair of feather-dropping, eyeglass-wearing, saggy-chinned brown pelicans. The great arc of life, according to Blake, is happiness to horrors to happiness, with a great dose of the unknown to keep everyone guessing. This book is hilarious, and parents and children will be nodding in recognition as Zagazoo grows up and as his parents grow—happier. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531301784
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1st American Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 12.75 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2002

    What every parent needs to know!

    This is one of the best childrens books ever. A hilarious look at the various stages of childhood - I'm already looking forward to becoming a vulture...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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