Monday, December 7, 2015
Mr. Zip and The Capital Z by Kimberly Bryant-Palmer & illustrated by Jerry Palmer
My thoughts: In Mr. Zip and the Capital Z you have two main characters: Peanut and Mr. Zip. Peanut is from a Southern African-American family and his whole family is introduced in the first chapter with little descriptions of how they were named and what they were like. Mr. Zip runs the Capital Z which is an unusual place where strange things happen or strange experiences happen to visitors. And this is what Peanut and Mr. Zip experience throughout the book.
As Peanut ventures into the Capital Z he touches things and they appear to come to life with historical figures from the early days of the American Colonies. He “experiences” history with Mr. Zip meeting a variety of individuals well known and not so well known. The primary historical figure is George Washington and several scenes involve him and life-lessons are clearly drawn from his life.
Bits of historical information are scattered throughout the book and in Peanut’s experiences. These are backed up in the back of the book with end notes referencing materials used for research. I am a bit of a lover of history so I enjoyed this aspect of the book.
The illustrations are deftly done in black and white and are very well done. Mr. Zip is depicted as a gentle old soul and Peanut is as a sweet young boy.
The story has Peanut and the members of his family speaking in a manner that some might find offensive and condescending. I found it o.k. and not offensive seeing it as a regional and societal manner of speech.
I give it a 5-star rating for the presentation of historical information to the age level the book is intended. I give it a 3-star rating for the story of Peanut’s family as it detracted somewhat from the main emphases of the book. All-in-all, I would say this is a strong 4-star book and will be enjoyed by many young readers. There is a soon to be released second Mr. Zip book which we shall look forward to reading.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from BookCrash to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.