Zigzag

Overview

When the dollmaker creates Zigzag from scraps, she promises him, Some child will love you. This gives the strange-looking doll hope. But the other dolls and stuffed animals in the shop don't want such an ugly toy around. They force Zigzag to leave. Clinging to the promise that a child will someday love him, little Zigzag sets out to find a home.

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Overview

When the dollmaker creates Zigzag from scraps, she promises him, Some child will love you. This gives the strange-looking doll hope. But the other dolls and stuffed animals in the shop don't want such an ugly toy around. They force Zigzag to leave. Clinging to the promise that a child will someday love him, little Zigzag sets out to find a home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Poor Zigzag is a clownish patchwork rag doll with jester-like tufts on its head and rickrack for a mouth. Despite the hero's protestations of "I'm just special," all the other conventionally cute toys in the dollmaker's shop hate him ("You are so very ug-ly!") and push him into the trash. But with help from some friendly mice, Zigzag is adopted by a girl who is so nice that the doll's rickrack mouth magically transforms into "a smile of joy." San Souci's (The Talking Eggs) storytelling here seems uncharacteristically blunt and blatantly emotional ("Why are you here?" ask the mice when they find the rejected doll lying in the grass. "I'm looking for a child to love me," replies Zigzag), but it's tempered somewhat by Czernecki's (The Girl Who Lost Her Smile) large-scale, cut-cloth characters, which may remind some youngsters of their own spirited classroom art projects. The illustrator adds little extraneous detail, allowing the geometric shapes and vibrant patterns to pop off the pages and heighten the story's emotional stakes (particularly the subtly altered eyebrows and mouth of Zigzag to convey everything from contentment to rage). Czernecki lines up Zigzag's tormentors in tidy formations that echo the repetitive motifs on their bodies (a row of evil stuffed bunnies is almost nightmarish). But despite the impressive craftsmanship on display here, the themes of rejection and redemption feel all-too-familiar. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When a dollmaker finishes piecing together a doll made of cloth scraps, she names him Zigzag. His mouth is crooked and his fabric mismatched, but the woman is sure that some child will love him. The other toys taunt Zigzag because he is so "ugly" and push him off the shelf into the trash. When it is put out, he is picked up by an owl that drops him into a meadow. There he meets some field mice who lead him to the little girl who loves him and turns his crooked mouth into a smile. Eye-catching illustrations fabricated from cloth scraps create captivating, colorful collages set against a bright, white background. While they are vivid and appealing, they are also a tad confusing. The same technique is used to render the humans and animals, making it hard to differentiate the toys from the other characters. This is not one of San Souci's most engaging offerings but it is nicely composed, and the happy ending should please young readers.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Czernecki's patchwork illustrations make a bright and busy visual impression, but can't quite carry San Souci's bland, predictable tale. "I'm just special," insists Zigzag, the new cloth doll, to which the other dolls in the store jeeringly respond, "You're just ugly," and push him off the shelf into the trash. Out he goes in the morning, on a journey that ends, of course, in the arms of an adoring little girl. Depicted as if made from many small patches of gingham and other patterned scraps, and with a stitched zigzag mouth that, natch, curves into a smile at the end, Zigzag is plainly intended to stand in for any child ostracized for physical differences. But the theme has seen so many more spirited treatments, from "The Ugly Duckling" on, that this one is unlikely to make much of an impression. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874837643
  • Publisher: August House Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 781,572
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.51 (w) x 10.38 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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