SUMMER AT THE Z HOUSE by Holly Zanville
Kirkus Star

SUMMER AT THE Z HOUSE

KIRKUS REVIEW

A little boy, his mom and assorted pets enjoy a summertime visit from Grandma in this warm chronicle of everyday family life, enlivened with vocabulary-rich text and quirky illustrations.

When Grandma arrives for a visit, her engaged, caring presence makes the summer days more fun for Noah, his mom, and their animals, which include a dog named Pepper and three cats. Grandma turns dinner into a special occasion by writing descriptions of her feast (salad, roast beef, chocolate pudding) on a menu that Noah happily reads aloud before each course—a subtle underscoring of the author’s mission to encourage reading among her target audience. Grandma enjoys hearing about Noah’s creative day camp endeavors, which include crafting masks, making a totem pole and creating cartoons with clay figures (all beguilingly and colorfully imagined by illustrators Stommel and Czekalski). She also shares the family’s love for animals. The book is the third in a series of books centered on Noah, his mom and their growing collection of pets, each with its own distinct personality. Zanville (How the Dog Came to Live at the Z House, 2013, etc.), a veteran educator and a regular blogger about reading and literacy at zhousestories.com,offers vivid images throughout; for example, during the family’s trip to an aquarium, Noah observes “miniature jellyfish that looked like white parachutes with dangly tentacles” and “glowed in the lights of their dark tanks so brightly—it was like looking at little stars in the sky.” There are no wacky plot twists here—just refreshingly genuine warmth and quiet observations of real-life moments among family members, be they human, canine or feline.

A well-observed, colorfully illustrated book about a close-knit family’s day-to-day life.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4819-5234-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014




BEST INDIE KIDS' BOOKS OF 2014:

IndieELEVEN by Tom Rogers
by Tom Rogers
IndieLucy Lick-Me-Not and the Day Eaters by Claudine Carmel
by Claudine Carmel
IndieIT ALL STARTED WITH A BICYCLE by Plum McCauley
by Plum McCauley
IndieSUMMER AT THE Z HOUSE by Holly Zanville
by Holly Zanville

MORE BY HOLLY ZANVILLE

MORE BY JON STOMMEL

MORE BY TRAVIS CZEKALSKI

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenGABBY AND GRANDMA GO GREEN by Monica Wellington
by Monica Wellington
ChildrenPATCHES AND SCRATCHES by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
AdultGRANDMA SUMMER by Harley Jessup
by Harley Jessup