Book Review: The Z Was Zapped

Rating: ★★★☆☆

This alphabet book is quite a unique production; each letter appears on the right-hand side of the book, then when the page is turned a brief bit of text is given: “The A was in an Avalanche,” “The B was badly bitten,” and so on. This lends a bit of a wordless-book experience, since the image must be interpreted before the text is read.

It is rendered in black-and-white charcoal, and unlike most alphabet books, the scene never shifts, but their presentation is called “a Play in 26 acts.”  The artistry is wonderful, of course, given Van Allsburg’s reputation; for aspiring artists this could be inspirational, but it’s more of an artistic showpiece than a book for young children to interact with.  It is, however, nice that the application of different letters tends to be through verbs rather than the nouns that usually accompany the letters in alphabet books.  This would make an interesting library checkout as a supplement while teaching or reviewing the alphabet.

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Publication Information: Van Allsburg, Chris. Z was Zapped, The. . 1987. ISBN: 0395937485.
Categories: 3 Stars, Age 04-08, Read-Aloud Handbook

Posted on May 28, 2009

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