Book Review: Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
The pet who thinks it knows better than its owner is a mainstay protagonist in children’s literature and popular culture in general. From Mark Teague’s LaRue books to Garfield, young readers enjoy animals who believe themselves to be the brains of the operation. In Binky the Space Cat, Ashley Spires takes a feline who thinks he knows better than his humans, adds deadpan humor and a gently off-beat storyline to craft a pleasingly quirky graphic novel that should make the rounds quite nicely.
He doesn’t know it, but Binky is a bit confused. Outer space and aliens? Couldn’t be farther from the truth. “Outer space” is actually the world outside the house he lives in. “Aliens” are the bugs that pester him and his owners. In order to stop an alien invasion Binky becomes Space Cat qualified and builds a rocket to take him into the great unknown. He trains hard for the big day. When the countdown begins Binky realizes that there is one thing he can’t leave behind – two things actually. The big human and the small human he protects.
Muted tones dominate the ink and watercolor illustrations, nicely juxtaposing the outlandish ideas of our hero. Everything is not as calm as it may seem.
A graphic novel for younger readers that has plenty going for it, Binky the Space Cat makes for a solid addition to your collection.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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