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Zorgamazoo is the story of an adventurous girl; a mysterious creature; a bizarre lottery; a secret map; an alien world; some outrageous kidnappings; and a sport that brings together the finer points of cricket, swimming and chess. It also has lobotomies. In short, it's about saving the universe from boredom. And it rhymes—all 280 pages worth.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published October 16, 2008

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About the author

Robert Paul Weston

14 books141 followers



Ahoy. You've run aground on my small, oblong island in the GoodReads archipelago. You're welcome to surf, swim in the lagoon or stroll along the pier, where they sell prawns, whelks and words by the cupful. If you'd like to keep things topical—as well as tropical—sling yourself in a beach hammock and crack open a good book. One of these perhaps...

My first novel, ZORGAMAZOO, won the 2011 California Young Reader Medal, the 2010 Silver Birch Award, and the 2009 Children’s Choice Award. If you've had too much sun and crave something darker, try my hardboiled fairy tale, DUST CITY. It was shortlisted for the 2011 Edgar Alan Poe Award and the 2011 Sunburst Award. Then there's my second novel-in-verse, PRINCE PUGGLY OF SPUD AND THE KINGDOM OF SPIFF and THE CREATURE DEPARTMENT, a collaboration with the British special effects firm, Framestore.

My latest is SAKURA'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS, my first picture book, illustrated by the Japanese-American artist, Misa Saburi, and perfect for springtime.

I live in England (also on an island), where I'm a full-time lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln.


You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

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5 stars
879 (41%)
4 stars
732 (34%)
3 stars
393 (18%)
2 stars
85 (3%)
1 star
44 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 509 reviews
Profile Image for Adrienne.
320 reviews
May 13, 2009
Robert Paul Weston's "Zorgamazoo"
is poetry, page-turner and lots of fun too

This is a book that you must read aloud
whether by yourself or amongst a small crowd

You'll love all the characters and the plot is surreal
(Coming up with these rhymes is no easy deal)

I can only imagine the pains Weston took,
to be sure that this wasn't just any old book.

What an adventure! It's funny! It's swell!
With Morty the Zorgle and Katrina Katrell.

What's a Zorgle, you ask and where's Zorgamazoo?
I want you to read it, I won't ruin it for you.

It's a great book, with just one flaw to find
You might end up thinking and talking in rhyme!
Profile Image for Monica Edinger.
Author 10 books336 followers
February 6, 2009
This is one of the more unique books I've read in the last year. Zorgamazoo is done completely in verse, Dr.Seuss/Roald Dahl-sort-of-verse. All of it. All 281 pages of it. Terrific verse, mind you. Versifier Robert Paul Weston manages to beautifully sustain a voice, a tone, a style, and a beat throughout. Given that he is also telling a story --- building a setting, atmosphere, developing characters, and moving a plot along --- it is really quite impressive. The story is fantasy, macabre, silly in (yes) a Dahlian style, and truly great fun to read. (I have to admit I did have to put the book down now and then to take a break from the verse, but I think that was my problem not the book's. I suspect kids will enjoy this tremendously and I think I may read it aloud to be sure.)

I usually don't agree with reviewers who say a writer is "like" some other author, but in this case I do. I did find Weston to be writing in the tradition of Seuss, Dahl, and ---yes-- Lemony Snicket. His tone is sinister at times, there's terrific wordplay, and the whole package is very elegant indeed.

And by package I mean the design. Not only is this whole book in verse, but there's some fun stuff happening with the story, pages, and such. There's a very strong authorial voice that is connected to the design. Well done indeed!

As for plot, it is there. We've a plucky heroine (a la Coraline and Alice) named Katrina Katrell with the requisite horrid parents and guardian. Then we've got another world (literally under ours) with another main character, one sadsack named Morty. The two of them end up on a quest to find the missing Seussian Zorgles of Zorgamazoo.

Zany is remarkably just the right word for once. Zany Zorgamazoo.
Profile Image for Kalin.
Author 71 books263 followers
July 9, 2020
Delightful. (And a great aid when you're translating a children's book. ;)

It has its darker passages, too--definitely not young children territory. Consider:

In his hand were the blades of his wicked device,
especially made to puncture and slice.
In the lamplight it flashed with a sinister gleam,
like the teeth of a beast in a hideous dream.
He raised up his Mincer, holding it high.
“I shall enter,” he said, “just here, by your eye.
So don’t move a muscle, or you may feel some pain,
because now, my dear girl,
to your brain!”

Full review:

Profile Image for Kris Patrick.
1,498 reviews73 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
February 24, 2015
At the risk of sounding blasphemous, I don't particularly enjoy reading aloud Dr. Seuss. Silently I'm thinking, omg!, when will this be over? Now imagine reading a 282 page book with the zany rhyming cadence of Dr. Seuss. I couldn't take it anymore.
Profile Image for Justyn Rampa.
659 reviews23 followers
November 5, 2017
This was technically the first book we read to Ozzy once he was in utero and could hear as detailed in my first review below. We decided to read this as a bedtime book for Ozzy around Halloween, as it is a bit spooky, and we all loved it again.

Subsequently, Alison had the idea to pause at the last word of a line so that Ozzy could guess what the word was based on the rhyme. This actually ended up being an amazing test that Ozzy fared quite well at. He didn't always know the exact word (because at 3 he lacks the vocabulary) but he could usually make up a word that contained the sound.

This became relevant when his preschool class started discussing rhyming and Ozzy's rhyming skills were on point!

Thanks Zorgamazoo:-)


The sad truth is that there are years of my life that did not have Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston in them.

The silver lining is that Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston is part of my life now!

This was a recommendation that came from a co-worker because she felt it seemed like my kind of book. I was intrigued by her description. Later I went on to Amazon because they had a preview of the book and I read it out loud to my wife, who was just as intrigued as I was!

From just reading the preview, I couldn't get Zorgamazoo out of my head. I was baffled as to why Robert Paul Weston and ANY of his books were not in my life. Upon closer inspection, in addition to Zorgamazoo, he wrote another fantasy book in rhyme (Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff), a hard-boiled fairy tale noir (Dust City), and a book that Buzzfeed described as “Stunning…a bit like if you took Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Monsters Inc. and shoved them in a TARDIS.” (The Creature Department).

After this little investigation it was clear to me that Robert Paul Weston had access to my brain and wrote all the books that I would dearly love to read! So I decided to buy all of his books for my birthday because even though I had read only the preview for Zorgamazoo, I had a hunch that this guy would become one of my favorite authors of all time!

So then...what did I think of Zorgamazoo???

Well, I actually started reading in the hospital of all places. My wife needed to get a RhoGAM shot to prevent her O- blood from attacking our baby like it was a virus. Her shot was scheduled for a Sunday which was weird because the department that usually takes care of RhoGAM shots was closed that day. Long story short-ish, we did a lot of waiting in the hospital room on Sunday...my birthday.

But I brought Zorgamazoo and so I asked my wife if I could start reading it out loud to her to pass the time and because we were anxious to see what this book was like and so I started reading out loud a story that was "stranger than strange". For those that don't know, Zorgamazoo is a nearly 300 page fantasy written entirely in verse. I don't feel the book truly comes alive until each and every word is spoken. Within minutes my wife and I are deeply in love with this book.

Also in love with this book is our tiny baby who was kicking and spinning around to show his love for this book as his mom and dad took turns reading each chapter out loud. It was a fantastic way to spend the morning! It was hilarious as well as from time to time, a nurse would come into the room to give us a status report and we would stop reading...mid-rhyme...only to continue again immediately upon the nurse exiting the room.

We continued to read chapters from Zorgamazoo out loud each night that week before going to bed. All of us excited to hear more. I don't want to spoil any of the plot points but I do want to say this about the book.

Katrina Katrell, one of the heroes of this book, is a wonderful and much needed character in children's literature. She is a strong, quirky, fiercely independent girl who instantly has your heart! Robert Paul Weston creates a great female character by simply telling a fantastic story that features an amazing character. There is nothing contrived about the story he is telling.

Mortimer Yorgle, the other hero of this book, will have your heart for a different set of reasons. Among them is that Robert Paul Weston again thwarts reader expectations by presenting a very different male hero in a fantasy story. And don't even get me started on Morty's relationship with his father! Do you know what a strange sensation it is to be speaking in verse AND crying at the same time!!!

But that is the magic of Zorgamazoo!

You would think that writing a nearly 300 page fantasy story completely in verse would produce, at least in parts, a story that felt contrived in some spots but that is not the case. The particular brand of genius that is Robert Paul Weston's mind has created an organic story with such heart that you will laugh, you will cry, and you will sit in awe that someone has produced this book which deserves to be a classic right alongside the books of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuess.

So what are you waiting for???

Go read this book right now! Out loud! To strangers...or friends...or just to yourself, but do yourself a favor and bring Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston into your life!!!
Profile Image for Rory.
31 reviews3 followers
April 25, 2017
I love the adventure, and the Dr. Seuss like rhyming is great!
Profile Image for Ana Calabresi.
272 reviews35 followers
February 9, 2017
I just finished reading this book and it's AMAZING! This is one of those books you just can't stop reading. The writing is delightful, beautifully and incredibly written in rhymes from page 1 to page 282. Each chapter is full of adventure, you're always on the edge of your seat. It has the perfect mixture of fantasy, surprise and excitement you need in a children's book.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
86 reviews
March 12, 2013
I read this book for the reading group I lead in my youngest's class. Love, love, love this book! It's like a Dr. Seuss book for big kids. The entire story is in prose. I also checked out the audiobook and it's read by Alan Cumming in his native accent--awesome!
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
October 17, 2010
I actually read this book out loud to my boys, and they actually listened. I loved the Dr. Seuss style that it was writen in.
Very cute!
Profile Image for Gina.
1,160 reviews92 followers
January 29, 2018
Fantastic read aloud to my 9 year old daughter. The whole story is written in rhyme, sort of like Dr. Suess for older kids. The storyline was great and my daughter and I had a lot of fun reading it together. 4 stars!

Read #2- I still love this book because it’s a 300 page Children’s book written in rhyme. The author’s ability to use this poetic writing for such a long story and keep the reader interested is fascinating. The use of typeset to model how the character is speaking, for example of a character is whispering the type set is very small to using the typeset to shape what is being described is so much fun! It’s no wonder my son wanted to read this book again when I asked him to pick a book of “poetry”. We read this together in 2012, I believe, and he wanted to read it again. This time we could discuss how the author used typeset to display emotions, things in the story, etc.. and he had a much better grasp of articulating this to me and how it affected the reading of the story. This is a fantastic book to read with kids to discuss elements of poetry. I’m raising my rating to 5 stars this time around because of the marked difference of what my son learned from this book and that he had so much fun reading this time around completely independently... not really a shocker there. Reading books with him at home has really upped his awareness of literary elements that aren’t being taught yet in 4th grade curriculum. He will definitely be at an advantage when these are focused on in a few years. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,068 reviews12 followers
February 25, 2010
Mother/Daughter Book Club selection for February 2010. Sam & I are NOT enjoying this book! It is way too graphic and violent for a kids book. Even though most of the violence ends up being imaginary, the images are still very real and scary. I am not impressed! ... The ending turned out okay, and the moral was good. But overall not a book that I would choose or recommend, especially for kids!
Profile Image for Allison.
32 reviews
April 28, 2017
Very cool book! If you like Roald Dahl and/or Dr. Seuss, you'll probably like "Zorgamazoo."
Profile Image for Manda.
64 reviews
December 16, 2021
Reading a 200+ page book that's completely written in verse is a trip. It was an interesting and a fun read. Completely unique.
Profile Image for Eliza ♡.
175 reviews22 followers
January 27, 2023

It was a cute kid's book, but Monster's Inc did the inhuman creatures harvest negative emotion for energy but find that positive emotion works thrice as well thing better.
Profile Image for Christina.
230 reviews24 followers
June 10, 2023
288 pages all written in verse, a book that reads like Dr. Seuss on steroids.
Profile Image for Meg.
101 reviews29 followers
December 11, 2012
The zorgles of Zorgamazoo are missing and it is up to Katrina Katrell and Morty, a zorgle himself, to save them! The good guys in this book are imagination and wonder and the bad guys aren’t scary creatures but rather humans that have forgotten about the how to use their imaginations. Katrina Katrell and Morty travel to the planet Graybalon-Four, where more creatures than they could have ever imagined, were being held captive by the Graylians. Readers are left with a sense of awe and a true happiness after the resolution of this novel.

Written in a Dr.Seuss-style rhyme, Robert P. Weston brings the world alive to the reader. He also has a few black and white illustrations that help the reader truly imagine the fun and interesting creatures that make up this book. Although the plot sometimes takes a back seat to the fun language and fantastical characters, no reader will be left disappointed when finishing this book. But to be clear- this book is not for everyone. As it says in the beginning, “If you’ve no time for the whimsical things, for pirates and gadgets and creatures and king, if you spur the fantastic to never return, then PUT THIS BOOK DOWN”.
Profile Image for Warren.
400 reviews1 follower
December 24, 2011
If you’re searching to find a cleverly book,
then Zorgamzoo deserves a really good look.
It has ogres and pixies and fantastical creatures,
With horns on their heads and other such features.
Katrina Katrell, an imaginative girl,
has fled from Mrs. Krabone in a really big whirl.
She meets up with Mortimer, a zorgel for sure,
His last name is Yorgel out on an adventure quite pure.
He is hunting lost Zorgels who were gone in the night,
With Winnie the beast who is a terrible sight.
The Zorgels have been captured, yes stolen from home.
And Winnie was left by herself, all alone.
The heroes were taken to a place on the moon,
Their freedom, their escape can come none too soon.
The story is good with a moral not bad,
The ending is fun and not even sad.
There are pictures that help the story seem real,
And give an impression of truth with a zeal.
The book it is written in verses that rhyme,
And read it out loud for a very good time.
Profile Image for Katie.
169 reviews3 followers
April 13, 2017
This was a battle of the books book for 3rd grade. I read this out loud to my kids.
The story was cute but it gets two stars because it exposed parenting weaknesses. I'd read a page and Fred would interrupt, "I have no idea what is happening." And I'd respond with, "Are you even listening?! How dumb are you?" (Not really. But close.) And then I'd summarize what I'd just read, which wasn't much due to all the filler words necessary to create limericks. He just could not follow the rhyming. And there were lots of difficult words mixed in with made up vocabulary (zorgles).
Plus, I didn't want to get trapped in the sing-song cadence of rhyming poetry reading so during the entire reading I kept wondering if I was reading normally or not. It was very confusing.
Profile Image for Tara.
15 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2021
This was a fabulous book! Just finished reading it to my kids. We all loved it. What a tongue twister to read out loud but I truly think it is best read a loud or listened to being read a loud. I can’t begin to imagine how the writer wrote it! Great story and in verse! Wow 🤩 Amazing. There were a lot of big words but because it was in verse it helped you know how to say them without even having to stop and sound them out. Great one to read to kids. Highly recommend!!
Profile Image for Deanna Day.
Author 4 books73 followers
February 6, 2009
Fantasy verse novel--Reminds me of Dr. Seuss and actually is the best verse novel I have ever read. It is an adventure story about a girl named Katrina and a zorgle named Mortimer who are looking for zorgamazoo. I love how the font, type face changed plus the illustrations are fabulous. Awesome book that I know kids would enjoy. Very easy read too.
Profile Image for Laura.
590 reviews8 followers
May 11, 2012
A fun adventure, written entirely in verse. Reminiscent of Shel Silverstein and complete with monsters, bad guys, good guys, danger, and, of course, a happy ending. An enjoyable romp.
Profile Image for Evita.
29 reviews8 followers
May 24, 2014
VERY entertaining! It was whimsical and dark and a real page-turner.
Profile Image for Monique.
995 reviews60 followers
July 4, 2017
Well wow, this book was just so much fun to read..you find yourself reading it aloud or wanting to and it just makes you smile to go into the world of the Zorgles and all the wacky craziness you get in this gem of a novel. Honestly I think all children should read this book as a requirement for imagination and reading enjoyment—think Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein all mashed up in an adventure epic along the A Christmas Carol told entirely in rhyming verse for about 283 pages and you have this book that while simple and fun imparts lessons and has heart. Alright so in this book the two main characters Katrina Katrell and Mortimer (Morty) Yorgle whose fates are entertwined and lead the two of them on an adventure too fantastic and wild to be told in anything but rhyme and my utmost admiration and respect to this author for taking on the task of finding a way to make this book full of rhyme. Katrina and Morty are brought together as Katrina is escaping a mean nanny intent on lobotomizing the wild zany ways right out of her head while Morty is roped into a lottery mission to free the missing Zorgles of Zorgamazoo..Okay yes it is silly like this and the author even warns you that if your mind isn't open to it not to continue LOL but I did and loved it, there is a tribe of zorgles of course and other mythical creatures that roam the Earth inciting enchantment and intrigue and they all are mysteriously missing. Finding the creatures is the main adventure though there are so many delightful side plots and plot twists that you are almost sad to end your time with these two as you can read about Winnie, Zorgally Ball, Graybalon-Four and the McCrook bullies..there was definitely a lot to love in this book and a great fantasy novel kids will love to read and have read to them.
Profile Image for April.
328 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2019
So I read this book titled Zorgamazoo. It's been around awhile - it's not new.
This book has been out since 2008. Don't know how I missed it. It's great!
The theme is the power of creativity and imagination. The imagery and characters created fascination.
It was so uplifting and inspiring. Mr. Weston's writing I am admiring.
I think this would make an epic movie directed by Tim Burton. It would be a mega hit - of that I am certain.
This wonderful book I recommend you read. Then be sure to leave your thoughts in my feed.
Only one problem I have found. In my head, there's this sound.
After almost 300 pages of couplets in rhyme. To stop thinking this way may take me some time!

Profile Image for Luna Moon.
25 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2022
A small-little child was Katrina Katrell,
she lived with her guardian Mrs. Krabone.
Her mother was busy, her father as well,
they couldn't return her, so left her alone.

And then she meets Morty, a zorgle for sure,
together they weather against every adventure.
Morty lacks determination, but Katrina does not,
they even out each other like no doublé could.

So then off they go, I won't spoil it for you.
I won't even give you one singular clue.
You should find out yourself, be adventurous as well,
and follow the footsteps of Katrina Katrell.
Profile Image for Laura.
62 reviews10 followers
March 23, 2018
A whole novel written in rhyme! This book is so popular with kids in Grade 3-7, I can't keep it on the library shelves. Also a great aloud (although I have to make an effort to avoid using a singsong-y voice that can happen while reading poems). 2010 Silverbirch Award winner.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
159 reviews4 followers
July 8, 2018
A fast easy read about a young girl, her wild imagination and the characters she’s meets along the way. In rhyming format this would make for a fantastic read-aloud or mentor text while teaching figurative language/authors craft in ELA.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 509 reviews

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