Part of the reason that I don't review holiday books on an annual basis, despite the plethora published every year, is because it's extremely hard to tell a good Christmas story, probably because there are so few themes to explore when writing in this genre. So, in this field where it seems like it's all been done before, taking the themes of giving and sacrificing in the spirit of the holiday and presenting them in a creative, visually stunning way, reading a book like Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas is so refreshing! Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas is Ned Young's third installment in this series, making it even more remarkable since most series seem to wear out their thematic charms by book two. Zoomer is a wildly imaginative dog who, along with his older twin brothers Hooper and Cooper, make Phineas & Ferb look like amateurs. While Young's stories are hugely entertaining, what I love most are his painterly illustrations that are just a little bit cartoonish. Page for page, you will definitely get your money's worth when you purchase any of the Zoomer books (see below for other titles).
In Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas it's Christmas Eve and the brothers are up in their treehouse, telescope set and ready to spot Santa as he flies across the sky.
While his brothers are giving him a hard time about the pretend antlers that Zoomer has taped to his cap, they are startled by a loud BOOM in the backyard.
When Zoomer, Cooper and Hooper try to tell their dad about the spaceship in the backyard, he shakes his head wondering where they come up with this stuff. This illustration above is one of my favorite from Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas. It captures Young's painterly style as well as his scope, adding so much to the story being told and making the reader all the more excited to enter Zoomer's world.
The brothers grab their preferred forms of transportation and head out to see what made the noise, thinking that they will see Santa and his sleigh. Instead, they get quite a surprise. What follows are 14 pages of fun and games with the alien kids and the dogs as the space dad attempts to fix the broken spaceship. Young comes up with all sorts of cool alien words for everything from food to sports to greetings. Besides the alien version of soccer, space mom sets up a force-field swimming pool filled with alien creatures and spaceship-submarines. The illustrations for these alien visitation pages are SO COOL and I wish I had images to share with you here. Be assured, Young's alien family, their pets and their belongings are all colorful, friendly and incredibly imaginative. However, I especially like the robots that Young portrays - both alien and toy. As the story comes to an end, Zoomer has made a generous gift to the aliens in order to help them get home, noted by his older brother, and in turn is rewarded on Christmas morning.
Don't miss Ned Young's other fantastic Zoomer books
Source: Review Copy