Tim Wynne-Jones. Illustrated by Ken Nutt.
Volume 14 Number 3
Following the success of the award-winning Zoom at Sea ¹ the author-illustrator team have brought Zoom back to his delighted audience in Zoom Away. The story begins one summer day with Zoom the cat, knitting something in the high Arctic for his uncle, captain Roy. Together they climb up frozen staircases in Maria's house, progress down snowy corridors, and finally arrive at a low door marked North West Passage. Zoom must set off alone down the tunnel in search of his uncle. He manages to find the ship; abandoned. In the galley, Zoom happens upon a note explaining that Captain Roy and the crew boarded a passing iceberg and are heading south. A tired and disappointed Zoom is found by Maria, who pulls him home on a sled. Curled up in a wingchair in Maria's sitting room, Zoom dreams about his next adventure.Because children love the world of fantasy, magical worlds such as Narnia created by C.S. Lewis, and Alice's Wonderland in the Lewis Carrol classic, have appealed to older children for generations. Now the very young child can experience similar flights of fancy with the fantastical journeys of Zoom. The magical transformations of Maria's house into an ocean in Zoom at Sea, and into the high Arctic in Zoom Away, provide the child with a home-based imaginary adventure. The softness of the black-and-white drawings, together with the marvellous use of detail and light, make the illustrations captivating. The bold text is inviting to the beginning reader and the rich descriptions add a special flavour to the story. Truly an appealing book, Zoom Away could readily become a storytime favourite.
Janice Foster, Winnipeg, MB.
¹ Reviewed vol. Xll/9 March 1984, p.81.
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