What It Is

This clever new book is about a family of suburbanized canines whose youngest seemingly refuses to go to school one morning. Poor “Dad” is left to tend to his three energetic “sons” and has to get them ready while “Mom” is away. The youngest, Zoomer, declares that he’s not going to school that day because he has too much to do.

As his twin brothers get themselves bathed, fed and dressed, Zoomer causes an uproar by blowing the world’s largest bubble from bubble bath, building a castle out of dog food and a life-sized brontosaurus in the sandbox, among other outlandish activities. After landing his rocket ship at the bus stop, where his brothers and father await their ride to school, he finally gives his reason why he isn’t going to school ... it was Saturday!!!

Why It’s Fun

This is the first children’s book by author-illustrator Ned Young and it’s a home run. The illustrations are so vivid and almost photo-like that they give a strong sense of realism to the fantasy. Why can’t a family of dogs be the primary residents in a lovely Victorian home? Sure, a giant blue elephant can magically appear in one’s living room. A rocket ship crash-landing into the roof is a common occurrence, right? The book’s “punchline” is an unexpected hoot for kids during the first read and doesn’t seem to get old time after time. I know, because this is one that’s been read MANY times in our house.

Who’s Going To Love It

Kids will love the antics of Zoomer and will easily jump right into his fantasy. Parents will empathize with the dad who tries to keep up with his energetic brood while laughing at Zoomer’s mischievousness. Dads will probably roll their eyes at the age-old conceit that when it comes to practical matters, the dad is almost always clueless. Still, it’s a classic story element that always stays fresh, and Young does it well. With the new school year starting, this book is a perfect back-to-school treat or selection from the local library.

Reading Time

About 3 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

10 out of 10

Book Information

By: Written and Illustrated by Ned Young
Published by: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (2010)
Approximate retail price: $16.99 (hardcover)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 7


What do you think about Zoomer?

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