Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Reading Adventure That's Out of This World: Zar and the Broken Spaceship #Review + #Giveaway

Dinosaur O’Dell (better known to his fans as “Dino”), a children’s musician, educator and storyteller based in Kansas City, publishes his first picture book, Zar and the Broken Spaceship, on World UFO Day, July 2.

“Zar” is a familiar character at O’Dell’s performances. He’s a friendly alien who enjoys relating to kids on planet Earth. Zar first appeared on Dino's album, Itty Bitty Monsters, in 2006. This is the first time that fans will meet the animated "Zar," thanks to renderings by Uruguayan illustrator/animator Santiago Germano.

Zar and the Broken Spaceship opens with three young friends who hear a strange and otherworldly sound as they walk through a park. A spaceship has crashed and the friends meet a green, three-eyed alien named Zar. As they fix Zar’s broken ship, they pick-up a bit of the space alien language, learn a lot about teamwork and make a new and unusual friend.
O’Dell plans a summer library and festival tour to promote the releases.

Our Thoughts on Zar and the Broken Spaceship...

B suspected that there might be a new book inside the mailer envelope...

...and he was pleased to discover that he was right!

B saw the cover art for Zar and the Broken Spaceship, and became pretty excited!

We usually save new books for bedtime, but B was so incredibly excited about having a new book about a space alien, that he simply couldn't wait until bedtime to read it! We received the hardcover story book, along with a couple of neat stickers! This new book arrived just in time for us to read and enjoy and celebrate National U.F.O. Day!

B and I were both interested in finding out more about this 'Zar' character and why his spaceship was broken.

The story starts off with some friends- three boys, who spot something unusual in the night sky.

The three boys search high and low for the mysterious flashing, and the sounds they hear. Eventually, they come across a broken down spaceship, and a silly-looking, friendly alien named Zar, who speaks space alien! Luckily, one of the boys had studied space alien as a foreign language and can translate between Zar and his friends.

Zar instructs the boys to help fix his space ship, by using parts of their bodies to push buttons on the ship.

We thought the story was a lot of fun, and it quickly became participatory, as we read through Zar's instructions to the boys. 'Push this button with your finger.' 'If we all push a button, we can fix Zar's ship. Push this button with your finger.'

Here's B, getting in on the fun of trying to fix Zar's ship, and helping by pressing the button on the page with his own finger, and then pressing another button with his foot!

We also pushed buttons with our elbows, tongues, and bottoms!

The lines in the story quickly became a fun song and dance, which we both fully enjoyed! I had a lot of fun reading Zar's alien words to B, and he just repeated them back to me, as he laughed and laughed his little head off! When instructed to, we pretended to push the buttons even faster, and looked even sillier than before!

Faster, even faster!

Finally, the boys were able to help Zar get back on his way home, by fixing his spaceship. Zar was eager to get back home, and very appreciative of the children's willingness to help him.

'Jam Jam!' That means bye bye in space alien!

When we finished the story, B said, 'Wow- that story was great! I can't wait to read it again!' He has since been walking around, speaking the space alien words and phrases he remembers from the story. There is a handy little space alien glossary in the back of the book! Fizzle moo! We hated for this story to end, we loved it so much!

This interactive story and song has been tested in countless preschool classrooms and library story time sessions. Read it to any 2-6 year old and take note of how they (and how you) respond and interact! I think this book is a wonderful addition for any child's home library collection, a classroom, play group, etc. This would make a fantastic gift, too!

Check out the Zar & the Broken Spaceship Animated Video!

Dino O'Dell

O’Dell has a deep and abiding interest in anything to do with space, UFOs, and life on other planets. Whether he is counting monsters, fixing spaceships or swimming in peanut butter, Dino engages his audience and enjoys the resulting laughter and sparks of imagination that result.

 Zar the space alien

Want it? Get it!

For more Zar & the Broken Spaceship, or to learn more about Dino O'Dell, head to O'Dell's website. Be sure to catch the Broken Spaceship Tour at a city near you!

Want it? Win it!

One lucky reader will win the Zar & the Broken Spaceship book + stickers + coloring page  (US or Canada only- 18+), plus a special greeting from Dino O'Dell!  He will record a personal MP3 message for the winner!

Plus, 3 lucky winners will receive a link to the e-book and coloring page!

Just use the handy RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win! Please note that MBP is not responsible for sponsored prize fulfillment.

Special thanks to our friends at SugarMountain PR for allowing us to experience the fun of ZAR and the Broken Spaceship and for offering this exciting giveaway for our readers!

Good luck!


  1. thanks for the great information


  2. Gloria

    I didn't see where the video was, so I couldn't watch it.


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