In this series, Ottawa Magazine’s Vanessa Ortynsky rounds up four kids’ books by local writers and illustrators. From a super hero to a tightrope walker, the books create vibrant characters and colourful worlds of adventure and imagination for them to inhabit. Who knows? They may even get your non-reader reading.
THE GREAT GAZZOON
Rick Scott’s dramatized musical audio novel brings his unique blend of music and storytelling into the literary world. The prevalent themes of fear, friendship, literacy, and the power of the creative process characterize The Great Gazzoon. While much of the cast is located on the west coast, the 40-page songbook that accompanies the CDs was illustrated by Ottawa artist Linda Sanborn, who created 50 original paintings for the story. The audio novel features 25 actors, singers, and musicians, and was inspired by Scott’s own experiences in facing his fears and learning to walk tightrope. In the story, instead of practicing to “walk the wire” between the towering peaks of Mount Lanadoon, Gazzoon Wazoo spends his time playing music and making up songs. Can one boy’s love of music outsmart the angry Winds, defeat wily Lord Grot, and bring balance and safety to the Kingdom? It will surely be fun finding out.