Age Range: 3 to 8
Zog is one of my daughter’s favourite Julia Donaldson stories and she was delighted to find the newly published sequel, Zog and the Flying Doctors, at The Edinburgh Book Festival. We had tickets for Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s show which included watching Axel draw pictures of Zog and his friends plus characters from the new story – a mermaid, a lion and a particularly special unicorn.
The Story: Princess Pearl and Gadabout treat a mermaid, a unicorn and a lion before landing at the palace to visit Princess Pearl’s uncle, the king. The king locks Princess Pearl up so that she can do princessy things instead of being a doctor and Zog and Gadabout’s attempts to rescue her end in vain. When the king becomes ill nobody can cure him. Princess Pearl thinks she knows what is wrong and Zog and Gadabout fly off to collect the ingredients for the medicine that she thinks the king needs. But is Princess Pearl right about her uncle’s illness? Will the king let her treat him?
We were introduced to the three main characters in Zog but you don’t necessarily need to have read Zog before reading this story. Zog is an air ambulance and transports the flying doctors, Princess Pearl and Gadabout the Great. They make a great team until Pearl’s uncle orders her to put on a nice dress and do ‘princessy things’. However, Zog and Gadabout are true friends who are determined to help her and they don’t hesitate before making the exhausting journey to collect the ingredients that Pearl needs to make her uncle’s medicine. We love kind hearted feisty heroines like Pearl who, despite the situation that she has been put in, is still prepared to help her dying uncle.
Julia Donaldson’s bouncy rhymes create a fun, energetic story and we always spend lots of time looking at the details in Axel Scheffler’s illustrations. Zog is a competent flier although he is not so good at landing, we always look to see how and where he lands and we particularly like the pictures of him landing in the lion’s den! Princess Pearl’s princess dress makes us laugh, it’s the frilliest, flounciest dress possible and doesn’t suit her character at all!
We were very lucky to buy an advance copy of Zog and the Flying Doctors at Edinburgh Book Fest, it’s being published this week. We are also very excited that Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have signed our copy with an extra message written by Axel in German!
Author: Julia Donaldson / Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
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