When Luno's dad FINALLY gives him the responsibility of delivering pizza orders all over the galaxy, Luno is excited, mostly. He knows that delivering pizza is no walk on the moon. There are hostile customers, and there's always the threat of his deliveries being intercepted by Quantum Pizza, the fast-growing chain restaurant that will do anything to put indies like Zorgoochi Intergalactic out of business.
Luno is joined by his best friend Clive, a super-smart, talking clove of garlic, and Chooch, a not-so-smart, talking pizza oven. Their deliveries are often dangerous (try landing on a fire planet) and sometimes frustrating. All Luno wants to do is help his dad keep the family business afloat. He realizes that the owner of Quantum Pizza wants the Zorgoochi family recipe, and only Luno can protect it.
Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza is Dan Yaccarino's exciting and hilarious middle-grade debut.
|Publisher:||Feiwel & Friends|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Dan Yaccarino has written and illustrated numerous picture books, including The Belly Book and Kate and Nate Are Running Late! for F&F, and Every Friday for Holt. He's also the creator of the animated TV series Oswald and Willa's Wild Life. He lives in New York City.
Read an Excerpt
Six Years Later
“Vake up, boy!” Roog shouted, smacking Luno on the head with his metal claw as he tried to toss pizza dough in the air.
“No good enough!” barked Roog. “Again!”
Just like every morning, Luno tried to perfect the famous Zorgoochi Pizza Toss, and just like every morning, it was far from perfect. At least this time it didn’t stick to the ceiling.
“I have trained all Zorgoochi for last two hundred year,” barked Roog, “and you are vorst of all! Again!”
Even though he could barely feel his arms, Luno tried again.
And again and again and again and again.
Luno began to think he wasn’t a Zorgoochi after all. Maybe there was a mix-up at the hospital and the real Luno Zorgoochi went home with another family and was out there somewhere tossing pizza dough perfectly.
And what would Dad think? How could Luno ever take over Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza with a crummy pizza toss?
In his zeal to master the Zorgoochi Pizza Toss, Luno went as far as to invent a pair of Memory Gloves, which he had his father wear when he tossed pizza dough. Once the microscopic circuitry recorded the movements of Geo’s nimble fingers, then all Luno had to do was slip them on and the gloves would do all the work.
Unfortunately, the Memory Gloves malfunctioned and tried to strangle Luno.
“Your fazzer, he master Zorgoochi Pizza Toss vhen he vas ten!” Roog growled. “You cannot take over pizzeria unlezz you do Toss perfek!”
Roog shook his head in disgust. He had helped train every generation of Luno’s family to make pizza since Solaro hired him, and from then on, he sort of came with the place. Luno had no idea how old Roog was, where he came from, or anything else about him other than he had a prosthetic metal claw from being wounded in the Great Pizza War of Deep Dish vs. Thin Crust, and liked to yell at him.
Every morning before school, Roog trained Luno in the basics of pizza making, including the dozens of hand signals, like baseball catchers used, to identify the different kinds of pizzas, as well as how to hold your breath underwater long enough to pick a bushel of Sea Garlic in the kitchen tank without drowning.
Every day after school Luno wrestled Cosmic Calamari, deflated Plutonian Pufferfish, and shucked giant snapping Space Clams, which was bad enough, but he also had a seafood allergy and had to wear a protective suit to handle them or he’d swell up like one of those Pufferfish he popped every day.
However, Luno still wasn’t entirely sure how dodging flying pizza cutters, walking across hot coals, or taking apart and reassembling a pizza oven blindfolded had anything to do with making pizza.
“You call dis meatball, boy?” shouted Roog as he pelted Luno with meatballs with microscopic imperfections. “Your grandfazzer Pomodoro, he made perfek meatball no vun could bear eet, they ver so beautiful! Again!”
As Luno attempted to make perfect spheres of ground meat, he daydreamed about what it would be like to play sports, be in the school band, or just not have to work at his parent’s pizzeria every morning and afternoon, and now that school was over, for the entire summer. But his reverie was cut short by a strange feeling on his leg.
Luno looked down and his spine froze. A Saturnian Sausage with a hungry look in its eye was slithering up his pant leg!
“Vhat are doing, zilly boy?” Roog bellowed. “Dat zausage iz about to keel you! Dere is no time to be afraid!”
Luno pulled the sausage off and whipped it into a massive bubbling pot of Zorgoochi special tomato sauce.
“Maybe I forget to lock cage, eh?” Roog chuckled. “It vas accident, I tink.”
Roog seemed to have lots of “accidents,” but only when no one else other than Luno was around. No matter how many times Luno complained, his parents never believed him. Once, Roog “accidentally” knocked Luno into the laundry dryer and he was left spinning for an hour until his mother discovered him tangled up with the aprons. Another time, Roog “absentmindedly” locked him in the walk-in cryogenic freezer for two days. Luno had to keep moving or he would’ve been frozen solid. It took a whole week for his eyebrows to defrost.
Luno had the sneaking suspicion that Roog was trying to kill him.
One thing Roog didn’t yell at Luno about was his sense of smell. In fact, Luno was his school’s Smelling Bee champ five years in a row.
Roog threw Luno into a chair and blindfolded him. Then he passed different herbs under his nose.
“Basil!” Luno said. “Parsley, sage, cayenne pepper—ah-choo!”
Then Roog waved another leaf under Luno’s nose.
“Erba Zorgoochus.” Luno smiled.
Roog pulled the blindfold off.
“Not bad. You inherited nose from great-great-great-great-great-grandfazzer Solaro,” Roog grunted. “A nose like his only happens every six generation. You are lucky, boy.”
When Luno was younger and Roog told him that, he thought Roog only meant that he had a nose that was as super-sensitive as Solaro’s, but now that he was thirteen, it was starting to look like he also inherited a nose as big as his ancestor’s.
It also had its drawbacks. No matter how hard they tried, his parents were never able to successfully throw him a surprise birthday party because he could always smell the cake before he saw it.
“Okay, boy,” Roog said. “Time to make de pizza.”
Copyright © 2014 by Dan Yaccarino