by Robert Paul Weston
illustrated by Victor Rivas
Penguin Young Readers Group, 2008
Yes, I know I already reviewed this book. That was before I read it aloud to my fourth graders. That was before it was selected for the short list of the E.B. White Read Aloud Awards. That was before I heard the author reading the first couple of chapters on his blog. (You can read the first chapter here, and the Zorgamazoo website is here.)
I'd like to end the 2009 National Poetry Month by encouraging the ABC Booksellers who are voting for the winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award to choose Zorgamazoo, and by encouraging every teacher of grades 3-6 to read this book aloud.
You've never read anything like it (283 pages of rhyming verse) but it won't take long at all for you to see how fun it is to read aloud (it positively lends itself to dramatic expression). Your students might start off as slightly reluctant listeners, but it won't take long at all for them to be drawn into the story, to notice the irony of Morty becoming a hero by winning the hero lottery rather than doing something heroic, to predict why all the creatures are imprisoned on the moon by Dullbert Hohummer, the Third, and to cheer when it's time for read aloud every day.
Happy Poetry Month 2009! It's been great fun!