About the book
Dragonfly is the first book in the series, 'The Zingoshi Chronicles'.
Written by Bridget Ellis-Pegler. Illustrated by Anya Veryaskina & Matt Forsyth.
This book is a junior novel, enhanced by augmented reality.
Download the free app and join Sylvie, Willabella and their friends on their adventures.
You’ll see the world of Planet Zingoshi come alive in mesmerising 3D!
The following review of Dragonfly is by beloved NZ children's author and member of the NZ Book Council, Lorraine Orman.
An ambitious project…
The Zingoshi Chronicles: Dragonfly by Bridget Ellis-Pegler, Zingoshi I. P. Ltd
This is the first book in an interesting project that aims to create much more than just one paperback junior novel. Visit http://zingoshi.com to find out about the whole enterprise – and be sure to check out the YouTube link.
Here’s a quote: “The Zingoshi Chronicles is a transmedia property. What that means, it is a story that can be told in several different ways, in different places. The brilliant thing about having a rich story world to play with is that we can explore different parts of the story, on different platforms.”
There’s going to be a video game, but that’s still in development. In the meantime here’s the first book which introduces readers to a magical world where two queens are trying to mentor a chosen group of children (both humans and Zingoshians). The focus of the story is Sylvie, who arrives suddenly from Earth and has trouble pairing up with her Zingoshian partner – a wild, rambunctious character called Willa. The story tells us about the unusual fauna and flora of Zingoshi, as well as the magical aspects – but the most amazing thing for Sylvie is the fact that everyone has wings.
I found lots of things to like in this story. The basic premise of travelling to a fantasy world is an old favourite, but the author added fresh and original touches. The transition between worlds is handled comfortably, the characters are vivid, and the plot has a good balance between keeping things moving along, and explaining necessary information about the other-world setting.
As an oldie, I found it curious that children’s fantasy worlds of today include cell phones for every character – but I’m not the target readership so I guess the young ones will take it in their stride. I see the audience as being mostly girls of about 9 to 12, because it’s quite a dense story and probably too long for younger readers.
The book promotes itself as being augmented reality-enhanced. You download an app on to a device (iPad, tablet, mobile) and use the camera to view the identified pictures in their augmented reality guise. I couldn’t download the app on to my elderly tablet. But Maria had downloaded it and gave me a peek at some lush illustrations that come to life with movement and colour – and also offer exciting sound effects.
The project also includes the Zingoshi Club page, which will be the place to come for Zingoshi news, competitions, fantastic activities, and interaction with kids around the world. At the moment you can sign up for the newsletter.
I wish the creators well in their endeavour.
ISBN 978 0 473 41709 3 RRP $24.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman
Listen to a preview of the book: