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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
The Adventures of Artie and Zac by Judeh Simon is a story about a boy whose dad is an inventor whose inventions always work. Dad also has the habit of talking about pixies and dragons and other creatures that Zac is sure don’t exist. Until...Dad takes him on vacation where they house-sit for a dragon. And Zac finds out that Dad’s fairytales are true. Then Zac follows Dad’s example and has adventures of his own. He visits the woods. He explores the cave. He meets the pixies and the goblins. He rides in a hot air balloon. This is clearly the best summer vacation of his life. Of course, it comes to an end, and he has to go home again, and nobody will believe him.
What does a boy do if he’s outgrown the fairytales his dad tells him? Does he laugh it off, or does he hop into a hot air balloon with Dad to house-sit a castle for a dragon? In this imaginative story, The Adventures of Artie and Zac, written and illustrated by Judeh Simon, Zac finds out that all of Dad’s seemingly fanciful tales are true. Dad says silly things like, “By the wizard’s great ear wax, we’re all packed!” and “the pixies assured me it’s perfectly safe and functional.” The author has created a safe feeling adventure in a world of fantasy. The dragon is a good gal. The gnomes are bad guys. And the pixies are ever-helpful.
For a boy whose favorite subjects were recess and lunch, he is now in a world where the exact ingredients in a magical formula matter, and he has to listen to instructions from a talking cat. Readers who like to imagine that grown-ups have all the fun when they aren’t looking will enjoy finding out that this time, they were right – Dad was having lots of fun when his son wasn’t around. But this time, his son comes with and takes readers along. In a wonderful adventure for young readers to enjoy, The Adventures of Artie and Zac explores the power of the imagination. I really enjoyed Judeh Simon's creativity and sense of humor.