Each slim volume of The Zigzag Kids series highlights one character among the diverse group of friends attending one afterschool program; in this fourth installment, Gina is convinced that she will be the shining star of the upcoming Afternoon Center play.
As preparations for the play commence, Gina begins to worry that her talent for crying as loud as a hyena might earn her the wrong part. She also begins to fret that she’ll lose the lead to her glamorous friend Destiny. Ever undaunted, Gina decides perhaps she’ll create a singing role for herself. Now if only she could convince everyone to let her help write the play, too. The day of the play finally arrives, and, except a few minor mishaps, Gina and her friends give a stellar performance. Everyone fits perfectly into their respective roles, and they each have something, or even a few things, to offer. Amusingly drawn illustrations and Gina’s accident-prone antics, usually involving something goopy, add giggly humor to the tale. Giff gives voice to a vulnerable yet tenacious youngster who believes in herself. The sentences and chapters are short and active for transitioning independent readers, though with the rapid sequence of events the story sometimes feels fragmented.
These amusing tales feel increasingly cozy as the reader comes to know each character one by one; fans of the Zigzag Kids will anticipate the next. (Fiction. 6-8)