Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Zoom at Sea

Zoom at Sea

Tim Wynne-Jones
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Groundwood Books, 1990   ISBN: 978-0888991065

Zoom, unlike many cats, loves water. Not water to drink but water to play with, water to imagine with. Every night, instead of going out to pursue mice and to yowl with the other cats, Zoom stays at home and plays with water pretending that he is a brave sea captain going on an ocean voyage.

Then Zoom discovers an old diary in the attic and in it he finds a map on which is written ""The sea and how to get there."" Zoom eagerly goes to the place on the map. Instead of the sea however he finds a house and in the house there is a tall woman who invites him in, seem to understand what he is there for.

For a long time nothing happens and Zoom begins to wonder how he is supposed to see the sea in such a place. And then, when she is ready, the woman turns a huge wheel, pushes a button and cranks a crank. Slowly but surely the sea starts to reveal itself to the cat and soon he finds himself standing on a sandy beach.

With a delightful feeling of magic and suspense running throughout, this picture book is sure to sweep readers up and carry them off on an adventure which is both satisfying and suggestive. Beautifully executed pencil drawings are full light and movement capturing the magical element of the tale.

This is one of three titles about Zoom the cat and it won the Amelia Frances-Howard Gibbon Medal