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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Book Review: A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Zoe Elias dreams of playing the piano.

The piano is a beautiful instrument. Elegant. Dignified.
With the piano, you could play Carnegie Hall.
People wear ball gowns and tuxedos to hear the piano.

Instead of buying her a piano, Zoe’s dad gets conned in by the Perfectone salesman and brings home an organ instead of a piano.

I play the organ.
A wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ.
The Perfectone D-60.

The organ isn’t Zoe’s only problem. Wheeler Diggs has started following her home from school. He’s become a fan of her dad’s baking. Mr. Elias, having troubles with the outside world, prefers to stay in the safety of his home, acquiring Living Room University certificates. So far he has 26 framed diplomas for courses such as “Roger, Wilco, Over and Cash! Learn to Fly Like the Pros” and “Rolling in Dough: Earn a Dolla’ Baking Challah”.

With dad and Wheeler in the kitchen baking cookies, Zoe is left alone to master the Perfectone D-60, in preparation for the Perform-O-Rama.

When you play piano, you don’t go to Perform-O-Ramas. You give recitals.
A recital is a dignified affair.
There are candelabras at a recital.
People site in velvet chairs and sip champagne and look over the program. There are always programs at a recital.
At a recital, you play Mozart and Beethoven and Strauss and Bach.
You do not play Hits of the Seventies.

Zoe is too funny for words, my words any way, Linda Urban has managed to perfect capture the sense of hilarity in all of her words.

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban is perfect for readers 8-12, but I say Zoe’s perfect for anyone with a sense of humour and a recollection of the Perfectone organ. If you’re from the Prairies, you’ll know what I’m talking about for sure, boom-pa cha-ka, boom-pa cha-ka.

Zoe in A Crooked Kind of Perfect is the next Little Miss Sunshine.