The Malta Independent 16 November 2018, Friday

Żgorg: Finali spazjali and pilota perkażu

Sunday, 9 September 2018, 12:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

He's back from the football game, glares at everyone who says hello, runs up to his room and won't speak to anyone. You can guess two things: the game was lost and he probably was the one to miss a golden opportunity for a goal. Sounds familiar? Meet Ġanni, who could easily be your football fanatic son.

But just as Ġanni is sulking on his bed, he hears a voice telling him Heywassup? It's Żgorg, an alien who just came out from the drawing of a space shuttle hanging in Ġanni's room. Żgorg, who basically looks like an overstretched blue bean, zooms Ġanni up in his space shuttle and takes him to his planet where they - guess what? - play football.

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Żgorg is Merlin Publishers' new extra-terrestrial character - arriving in Malta from outer space via Portugal - featuring in a series about a young boy who goes on intergalactic adventures. In the first story they join in an extra-terrestrial game of football. In the second, they take part in an intergalactic spaceship Formula 1 race.

Written by Ana Oom and beautifully illustrated by Pedro Benvido, it has been adapted to Maltese by Noel Tanti, the popular author of Il-Kamra ta' Jonas. Both Żgorg books are great fun, hilarious (a look at Żgorg is enough to cheer a child who just missed a goal) and will go down well with children who love sports.

The books combine sports, space travel and a dose of magic - a perfect mix for curious adventurous children. Sports-related books are still few and far between in Maltese, and the Żgorg books blend sports in with an exciting storyline and the power of friendship.

The Żgorg series has no fixed target age. It is ideal both for reading to children when these are still very young and eventually for reading by children themselves when they are between seven and nine years old. 

Adapted to Maltese by Noel Tanti


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