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ZigZag (Hardcover)

ZigZag By Julie Paschkis Cover Image
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Help ZigZag the alligator get his vowels back in this playful picture book from beloved author-illustrator Julie Paschkis!

There's nothing ZigZag enjoys more than tasting his words as he uses them, plays with them, and enjoys them, for ZigZag is a lover of words! But one day, excited and energized, he gulps down all his vowels while exploring and enjoying the word "tambourine." Without A, E, I, O, and U, ZigZag's life is turned upside-down: no more lovely tambourines, only tasteless and dull tmbrns; no more tart green apples, only disappointing ppls. Poor ZigZag can't even get any sleep in his comfy, cozy bed, which is now a too short bd. But vowels are all around ZigZag, from his grandmother's satisfied "Aaahs" to his best friend Beanie's amazed "Ooohs." Can you help ZigZag find his vowels again?

This is a wonderful romp through language that reminds readers to taste their words, even at the risk of swallowing them—for how else to know if they are sweet or bitter; salty, crunchy, or smooth? It is also a companion volume, with a twist, to Paschkis's The Wordy Book.

About the Author

Julie Paschkis is a painter, textile designer, and award-winning illustrator of more than 25 books for children, many of which she also wrote. She loves vivid language and art that tells stories.

Praise For…

“Julie Paschkis uses her distinctive style of colorful folk art to confect a book of wordplay with ZigZag. The eponymous main character is an alligator with a strongly developed sense of the pleasure to be had from savoring zestful words... Young readers [are sure to] appreciate both Zigzag’s enjoyment of words and his dismay when, by accident, he begins to encounter them in truncated form. Here’s how it happens: When ZigZag swallows the word ‘tambourine,’ he also swallows every non-consonant in the alphabet. ‘All of the vowels were gone,’ we read. ‘No vowels? Seriously? Srsly. N vwls.’ … Eventually everything is put humorously to rights—ZigZag finds that he can collect vowels from friends and family—but not before young readers are given a new respect for the humble vowels that make words possible.”
— Wall Street Journal

“This cheery story about delighting in words and wordplay will appeal to readers who enjoy increasing their vocabularies and testing the sounds and feel of new terms… Paschkis incorporates numerous [words] in her illustrations… These gambol gleefully throughout her colorful, lively artwork featuring all-animal characters and intricate patterns. A veritable feast for word connoisseurs.” 
— Kirkus Reviews

★ "This clever book is filled with words... The wonderful illustrations, in pen and ink, are so detailed, with texture that is filled with lines going every way imaginable, shading, an abundance of color, and a lot of movement.  There is a classic feel, an Eastern European flavor not unlike a Ukrainian easter egg making it a feast for the eyes, and the abundance of sounds are just fun to read aloud. Librarians should put this on the top of 'to read' piles: it is very imaginative and attractive."
— Katrina Yurenka

"Paschkis plays with language and image in this sensory fantasy starring a word-swallowing alligator. ZigZag, rendered with a delicate ink filigree and calligraphically hatched scales, experiences words synesthetically… Gracefully wrought flowers and fruit give each image the feel of a stately tableau in this perception-oriented picture book exploration of words."
— Publishers Weekly

“Reading this book is utter revelry—what a marvelous celebration of the juiciness that language brings to our lips! Our minds! Our lives! A feast for the eyes and ears.”
— Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)

“A zippy, juicy, jazzy hullabaloo of a picture book… Here are some [words] of my own to tell you how much I love this story: brilliant, ingenious, clever, inventive, beautiful, ebullient, funny, emotive, whimsical, playful, joyful, dynamic. And that’s just for starters. Julie is a master of incorporating words in illustrations, and though she has done this before in other books, I think she has outdone herself here. Her line work, calligraphy, rich colors and compositions are simply stunning. Each page turn is sheer delight: in addition to the words in Zigzag’s mouth, other choice, sprightly, rather cheeky words dance and gambol across the pages. They are juxtaposed for maximum effect, sometimes alliterative, sometimes rhyming, sometimes to ramp up the fun of simply reading them aloud so you’ll notice their wonderfulness. Spirited wordplay engages the reader just as secondary characters would in a good story, adding emotion, energy and movement, heightening the celebratory mood… Like a finely tuned piece of picture book machinery, the deftly crafted text, hand-drawn words, and fetching folkloric drawings achieve a sublime synergy in the telling of this unique tale. What an ingenious way to make us look closer at words, to appreciate their sounds, appearances and meanings! … Young readers will revel in Zigzag’s shenanigans, have a blast sniffing out new words, and will likely never take a single vowel for granted ever again. This book’s not just for kids; in addition to the gorgeous art, there’s enough wry wit to amuse even the grumpiest of grown-ups, as they apply their own connotations to the words.”
— Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Product Details
ISBN: 9781592704026
ISBN-10: 1592704026
Publisher: Enchanted Lion
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 44
Language: English