Zak is the only novel that my son Ben, age 9, has wanted to read six times. Anne Turner
A kind story, and highly entertaining, Zak beautifully conveys the wisdom and ways of respect, acceptance, warmth and humility. I will read it again and again. Professor Hilton Davis, author of ‘Counselling Children with Chronic Medical Conditions’
Zak is an introduction to a whole new way of life, of cultivating awareness and perceptions and tapping in to the powerful, creative inner self. It’s listening to silence with pleasure, and feeling empathy non-verbally. It encourages children to feel things for themselves and to be aware of their own inner potentials, regardless of the assumptions and put-downs of others. It is a wholly healing book. Margaret Harrison, author of ‘Angels on Roller Skates’
I was delighted with Zak. He makes magic very real and ordinary. He gives it being and makes it come alive. He brings hope to find that magic in my own life. Fr. Chris Rajendrum
Zak touches the heart of children in a special way. They won’t put this book down. They don’t wait for their parents to read the next chapter. They read it all at once. More than once. They are fascinated, curious, and feel understood and inspired by this 11 year old boy who speaks directly to them in his buoyant, philosophical voice. Most of all they have fun with him – his refreshing perspective, his magical gifts, his ability to make friends with animals and to fly. A cross between Peter Pan, Pippi Longstocking and Alice in Wonderland, Zak has the potential to be one of those characters who will enter the public psyche. The story is different, and, like Zak himself, unusual. Perhaps the fact that this new author lives in Oxford explains the mix of lightness and depth, warmth and wisdom, magic and reality, that flows through this book. Watch out for this one – it has the sweet flavour of a new children’s classic.
Ideally, children’s books should be reviewed by children. Only a child can truly judge whether the author has the right “voice” to communicate effectively with them. In this case, I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say that Bridget Belgrave has got it right. This is easy reading for any age group, without being in any way condescending. Zak’s speech and narrative style reflect the age he is meant to be (eleven), but the novel could be read by (or to) anyone from the age of about five upwards. I must also warn the adult reader that, once you pick up this story, you are not going to put it down readily, and the 157 pages are liable to disappear in a flash, just like the egg in one of Zak’s magic tricks. Deborah Fisher, Tregolwyn Books Reviews – full review at http://tregolwyn.tripod.com