Zooming to the end of the a – z blog challenge. Doesn’t just reading the word Zoom make you want to go somewhere, fast?
Written and Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
picture book ages 3-5
In Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! a young child dressed in a orange bubble space suit jumps into a rocket and blasts off to the moon. The little astronaut tumbles in free fall, sees the earth below, journeys to the moon and back and arrives just in time for bed. The rhyming text is catchy and invites young listeners to join in on repeated readings. This is an example of a perfect picture book because the exuberant illustrations fill in the details that aren’t written in the text. I’ve used this with kindergartners as we transitioned from a transportation theme to a space study. The children made pictures of themselves as astronauts and we tethered them to a giant spaceship mural on the wall. Lots of fun!
Written by Diane Adams
Illustrated by Kevin Luthardt
Peachtree Publishers 2005
picture book ages 3-6
When a little boy is finally tall enough to ride on the Dino Coaster, he nervously waits in line with his encouraging father. When they finally reach the top and start to zoom down, it is the father who ends up scared next to his brave boy who is ready to go again. The text is written in rhyming couplets and the illustrations are cheery and expressive. This is a good book to share with children who are facing new and sometimes scary situations. I personally don’t like roller coasters so I identify with the dad!
Written and Illustrated by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
Mama Zooms is a very special book. It show an imaginative boy who zooms with his mother on her zooming machine. He pretends he is traveling on different vehicles including a race car, a spaceship, and an airplane. The text tells the actions,”Mama zooms me across the lawn and she’s my racehorse” and the pastel illustrations show the boy’s imaginative ride with his mother.
The mother’s “zooming machine” is a wheelchair. I really like the way the author has shown the love between a mother, father, and son. There are no references to being disabled. The book is a tribute to families and the fun they can have together. This is a positive book that shares a different way of zooming around.
Written and illustrated by Margaret A. Hartelius
Grosset & Dunlap 2003
Zoom! contains step-by-step instructions to make twenty paper airplanes with names such as the Zoom-a-room, Buzz Bug, and Super Looper. The instructions are clear and uncomplicated and can be made by children. (Younger children will need some help folding crisp lines). The planes fly well. The book comes with paper and stickers but those don’t last long. The children I know have fun decorating their planes and they recycle paper to make the planes. I’ve used this book with students from kindergarten to seventh grade and it works on many levels. The children learn to follow directions and can tweak their planes to make them fly farther or loop more. I’ve even used these plans with children inside on rainy days. The older students love to see how far their planes can fly and the younger children often run around with their planes saying “zoom, zoom!