Zoom Away

by Vicky on January 18, 2011

Zoom Away is the second book in the enchanting Zoom Trilogy, by Tim Wynne-Jones and illustrated by Eric Beddows.  This book won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award (1986), which is awarded to an outstanding illustrator of a children’s book published in Canada.

I projected large images from the book and read the story with the help of my puppet, Zoom, who chimed in with lots of comments and additional details.

Zoom is summoned by his friend, Maria, to accompany her to search for his elusive Uncle Roy.  “Dress warmly!” she tells him.

She shows him a map of the North Pole and, as they climb the increasingly snow-covered stairs in her magical house, Zoom straps on his ping-pong paddle snowshoes.  As they go down a long wintry hallway lined with monumental Snowmen, they can hear wolves howling, and Maria suggests that they sing a little song.  Eventually they come to a tiny door marked “Northwest Passage” and Maria tells Zoom that she will meet him on the other side.

After toiling through a long, scary tunnel, Zoom emerges into brilliant sunshine at the ice-covered North Pole.  After ice skating for a while, he begins to explore.  He notices a distant ship frozen in the ice, and, looking closer with his spyglass, he makes out the name of the ship: The Catship.  It’s his Uncle Roy’s ship!

Zoom goes to investigate, and soon he discovers a note from his Uncle Roy.  He and his crew have gotten away to warmer climes, but he will be back to retrieve his ship.  Zoom is disappointed that he has once again missed meeting his Uncle Roy, but Roy has left him his captain’s whistle, and Maria appears to take him home.

We had a large group, which included a number of visually impaired children and their teachers (who came unannounced).  Fortunately our snowman bodi-puppets were perfect, with their simple circle and cone shapes and different textures (construction paper (hat, eyes, and nose), poster board (body), paper plate (head) felt (scarf and mittens), and foam wrap (arms).

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