Flashback Fridays: Everybody do the dinosaur . . .
Posted by Stephanie Whelan
You’re a kid who fell asleep in your bed one night, just as usual, but when you wake up in the morning, you find that while you’re still in bed in your room, things have changed. The entire world is full of anthropomorphic dinosaurs who walk and talk and have lives similar to humans. You don’t exactly know what’s happened, but you quickly realize you’re the only human walking around, and you’ve got to get back “home” in a hurry!
Do you remember:
The Double Disappearance of Walter Fozbek by Steve Senn (Avon, c1980)
Many moons ago I found this book when I was a guest at a friend’s house where I was staying a few days. Never one to turn down an intriguing book when I discovered one, I quickly devoured the title–and never forgot the bizarre set up. Walter Fozbek, the boy is leading normal life, doing regular things like school and homework, until one night he goes to bed and wakes up in an alternate dimension. Walter is still in his room, in his house,and in his life, but now all the people have been replaced with anthropomorphic dinosaurs . . . and humans are the ones who are extinct. Back in Walter’s world, similarly a dino-Walter is waking up in a world full of humans. The two boys have switched places and now must endeavor to find a way back to their rightful dimension before they’re existence is discovered. With the help of both dimensions’ cousin Ralph and a Dr. Krebnickel the boys seek an answer to their inter dimensional nightmare!
A fun and funny book by an author I’ve loved as a kid. It’s the kind of quirky science fictional adventure story for kids that is just delightfully fun and bizarre at the same time. The book was made into a CBS Storybreak TV movie (though the wrong image is attached here) in 1985 . . . I’m pretty sure I must have seen it at some point, although I’m foggy on the details. It’s an entertaining romp perfect for enticing reluctant readers into the story. All the interior illustrations are done by Steve Senn, as was the original 1980 cover art. Mr. Senn’s artistic ability adds tremendously to the worlds he creates, pulling the reader in and helping the visualize what he had in mind while writing the story.
This story of Walter Fozbek is only one of a trilogy of loosely connected sort of “wild and weird” stories. The other two are Ralph Fozbek and the Amazing Black Hole Patrol (1986) and Loonie Louie and Meets the Space Fungus (1991) While the original books are well out of print, Mr. Senn has recently made these children’s books available again via Kindle–so old fans can find the stories they loved, and a new generation can discover his work. The new digital versions are published under the author’s full name: Oscar Steven Senn. Mr. Senn has written a number of other speculative fiction works for children, including Spacebread (1981) and Born of Flame (1982)–two books that I touched on in a much earlier Flashback Friday post.
Oscar Steven Senn’s biography and contact info can be found here: http://www.5thcornerpublishing.com/our-authors/senn200x200/
I have to admit that while the author has gone on to quite a career in the arts, there’s a part of me that wishes he’d written more books for young people. Most of his stories made me quite convinced of the worlds of adventures and crazy stories that were left to be told!
Any other fans out there? Comments welcome!
About Stephanie WhelanI'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.
Posted on October 18, 2014, in Flashback Fridays, General Posts and tagged Art, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Children's Literature, fantasy, literature, MG Books, Middle-Grade Fiction, Reading, reviews, Science Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.