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Zagazoo by Quentin Blake
Book DescriptionZagazoo is a baby like no other. In this quite exceptional picture book young readers will be delighted by the hilarious and unexpected changes in his behaviour as Zagazoo grows up. Parents may detect some strange echoes of family life. There have been many classic picture books from the incomparable pen of Quentin Blake, but never one more extraordinary.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099265344
(315mm x 225mm x 4mm)
Imprint: Red Fox
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Publish Date: 7-Sep-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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UK Kirkus Review » The genius of Quentin Blake knows no bounds. Here, the Children's Laureate turns his attention to phases of childhood. George and Bella are 'nice' young people who have a very 'nice' life, when one day, the postman brings a curious package. Inside is a lovely little baby, with a tag saying its name is Zagazoo. George and Bella have fun with the baby, though it is a bit smelly sometimes. One day, it turns into a baby vulture that screeches non-stop and keeps them awake all night, nearly sending them mad. Just when they think they can take no more, it turns into a destructive baby elephant, careering through their house. As the pages turn, Zagazoo keeps changing into bigger and more ruinous animals. Parents will certainly recognize these stages of childhood. One day, Zagazoo turns into a polite, helpful young man. Before George and Bella can enjoy this latest transformation he meets a nice young woman. The final twist in the tale comes when we find out what George and Bella have turned into when Zagazoo and his girl come to tell them they plan to live happily ever after together. The true joy of this allegorical story is that both adults and children will recognize and embrace it; adults knowingly, children with a sense of wonder. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » Blake's take on the stages of childhood is entertainingly offbeat but fight 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 tums 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. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake has been drawing ever since he can remember. He taught illustration for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, of which he is an honorary professor. He has won many prizes, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and in 1999 he was appointed the first Children's Laureate. In the 2013 New Year's Honours List he was knighted for services to illustration.
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