Zenon: Girl of the Twenty-First Century

Marilyn Sadler, Author, Roger Bollen, Illustrator Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $14 (48p) ISBN 978-0-689-80514-1
Traditional values inform this outer-space-age story, set a mere 40 years hence. Zenon--dressed in black, with hot-pink moon boots and a gravity-defying hairstyle--lives on a space station, talks on the video-phone and skates on a wheel-less ""hoverboard."" Her parents disapprove of her earsplitting music and mischievous deeds, however, and they decide to bring her down to earth--literally. Zenon goes to spend the summer at her grandparents' terrestrial farm, where she does chores the old-fashioned way (by hand) and learns ""to enjoy the comforting tick of the clock"" while playing checkers. An adult sort of wishful thinking colors Zenon's transformation, but high-tech kids will probably appreciate Zenon's difficulty in adapting to a low-tech pace. Wife-and-husband team Sadler and Bollen (Alistair in Outer Space) take inspiration from well-known TV shows and movies: Zenon operates a Jetsons-like robot vacuum, a Star Trekky ""Captain Quirk"" pilots the space station and a kid from the Crab Nebula resembles The Empire Strikes Back's Yoda. The overall effect is more conventional than futuristic, but Bollen's droll cartoons complement Sadler's tongue-in-cheek narration. Ages 5-9. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Hardcover - 978-0-671-86671-6
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