Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Zoomberry

Publish July 5, 2016

Zoomberry is a new board book by Toronto’s beloved and legendary poet laureate, Dennis Lee.  Originally published as “The Wizard” in Lee’s most recent poetry collection, Melvis and Elvis, this sturdy edition will entertain the youngest of readers.  When a little boy has trouble falling asleep, he invokes the twilight assistance of a moustachioed wizard in the starry sky.  This twinkling, grandfatherly constellation teaches the insomniac the magical mantra of “Zoomberry, Zoomberry, Zoomberry pie:/ Zoomberry, Zoomberry, now I can fly.”  In short order, the child drifts off to sleep.  In his dreams, he soars around the world, flying alongside insects, birds, newspaper airplanes and magic carpets. Dušan Petricic’s ink and watercolour illustrations are as lively and imaginative as the poem.  As the book opens, the child’s wide-awake eyes seem to glow against the pitch black darkness.  When morning approaches, the background hues start to warm into a sunny shade of yellow.  There are lots of funny details in the scenes to pore over, such as when the little boy shouts out his chant and the portrait paintings hanging on the bedroom wall respond by plugging their ears. Dennis Lee’s nickname of “Canada’s Father Goose” is a well-deserved tribute to his talent.  With its infectious rhythm and rhyme, Zoomberry will be a bedtime favourite.


Dennis Lee
Illustration EN: Dušan Petricic
Harper Collins Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-44341-166-0

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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