They Came From Planet Zabalooloo!

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They Came From Planet Zabalooloo!I’m always fascinated to read about the oddball creative processes of great writers.

…Victor Hugo wrote ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ entirely in the buff. Under tremendous deadline pressure, he placed himself under house arrest, stripped naked and coiled himself in a grey shawl.

…Agatha Christie insisted that her architect make room for a big bath with a ledge because the tub was her favourite workspace. There, she’d have a soak, crunch on an apple and plot murder.

…Truman Capote was a “completely horizontal author”; he couldn’t think unless he was lying down with a cigarette and coffee in hand.

…Dan Brown on the other hand hangs from his feet like a bat.

…But TS Eliot wins hands down for eccentricity. He insisted on being called “The Captain” and wanted to look cadaverous while he wrote, so wore green tinted face powder.

Isn’t it marvellous that you can be a creative genius and completely bonkers all at the same time?

As I reviewed this week’s book – ‘They Came From Planet Zabalooloo!’ – I found myself thinking… gee whiz Sean Taylor must be a bit mad (in the most wonderful way of course). I wonder how much cheese Sean ate before bed when he was inspired to write this story? Whatever you ate, or whatever your process is Sean, please keep doing it, because ‘They Came from Planet Zabalooloo!’ has fast become a family favourite. “Ooh la la!”

Boron, Bazoo and Zob are three alien tourists on “an epic adventure” to Earth where they plan to find a brilliant BIG-SIZE souvenir thing to take home. They’ll just zap it with their supersonic-sucker with shrinker-nozzle. Obviously. But these loveable ETs will have to be quick and clever and not get distracted snapping selfies, or overexcited doing wiggle-woggle dancing, or they’ll go home empty handed.

These guys are just so cute and quirky. It’s a read-aloud riot. I dare you to try and say “Oh, wow-wee!” or “Okey-dokey-do” without smiling.

Illustrator Kate Hindley has done a wonderful job of capturing each little alien’s unique personality. All of the little touches – the twinkly night sky, fireflies and the reflection on the water help create some seriously beautiful spreads. It’s not the first time Sean and Kate have teamed up… together they also created Don’t Call Me Choochie Pooh! , and hopefully it won’t be the last time either.

I’m a big lover (and would-be writer) of utterly bonkers picture books. This has made the kids happy and left me inspired. I’m off to inhale a bowl of stinking bishop and get back to my writing! Happy reading from Planet Zabalooloo.


Sean Taylor
Kate Hindley
Walker Books

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