K-Gr 3-DeZert Isle is the land of the Zerts, personified blocks come to life in a place made fabulous by Ponti's weird imagination. Life for them is never dull. Their days are spent outwitting and avoiding their enemies-the BigMouths, who lie down in front of them and become yawning holes to fall into; SledgeHead, who hammers anything he meets; and SmotherHen, who is given to forcible Zert adoption. The book is organized into chapters in a modified comic-book format and follows the course of Jules's passionate attachment to an insensate, inanimate brick that remains impervious to his attempts to woo her with flowers, sausages, and hippopotamelon juice. Eventually a gardener breaks the news to Jules that the brick will never respond, and after a slight head injury leaving him all "wibbly wobbly," the young protagonist falls in love with a female Zert instead. The landscape and inhabitants of DeZert Isle have a look of wooden toys. The sun and the moon have faces, as do mushrooms; fish have propellers and birds have wheels. Strangely, the rest of the DeZert Isle population consists of nails. The illustrations are bright and funny, rich with details and visual tricks. This story is sure to be a hit with the younger crowd and is a good choice for slightly older reluctant readers.-Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.