‘The Tilted City’, Navigating the Whimsy of Zebrutopia
Masoud Malekyari’s The Tilted City is a wondrous narrative that transports readers to a town as quirky as its residents. This endearing children’s book is a fanciful examination of the significance of originality and self-expression, all set against the backdrop of a gloriously off-kilter city of Zebrutopia.
The plot revolves around Zebright, the likeable and relatable protagonist who finds himself in this odd town. One will definitely share his sense of amazement and fascination as he navigates the quirks of the Tilted City. How it came to be called that is another story; The Zebraking VII 1⁄2 one day wakes up all tilted in his being, fearing prejudice he orders everyone and everything in the city become like or be outcasted. A playful narrative on how the ones in power abuse it to their likeness. Zebright’s voyage is an excellent parable about the value of voicing one’s views and thinking critically while views of others are shadowed by the one in power.
One is taken to this topsy-turvy world from the first page, where buildings and trees lean precariously, streets wind and twist in unexpected directions, and even the characters have a eccentric twist. The author presents a vivid and imaginative picture of a place where everything is tilted, and it’s impossible not to be charmed by the sheer insanity of it all.
What distinguishes The Tilted City is its ability to teach essential life lessons in a way that allows the reader to immerse themselves in the experience. The readers are taught to voice their thoughts openly, to be aware of their environment, and to think critically – while making sure they are aware of the barriers. The author expertly conveys the importance of self-expression and voicing your opinions through Zebright’s escapades without ever feeling preachy.
One instance where zebright questions the quirk of the city to the king he is shouted upon with an imbecilic dismissal, “is our city tilted or are thee such”, This debate, indicative of mature wisdom, highlighted the timeless difficulty of questioning the established quo.
Each page of the book is brilliantly illustrated, with vibrant colours and playful touches that bring the Tilted City to life.
Finally, Masoud Malekyari has written a joyful and hilarious story that will catch the imaginations of both young and not-so-young readers alike. This book is a must-read for parents looking for enjoyable and thought-provoking books, thanks to its engaging characters and stunning world building that allows the children to be a part of the narrative. It serves as a reminder that our distinct perspectives, as well as the confidence to voice them, are virtues to be respected and cherished, even in the midst of this topsy-turvy world.