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BINKY THE SPACE CAT by Ashley Spires Kirkus Star


From the Binky series, volume 1

by Ashley Spires & illustrated by Ashley Spires

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55453-309-1
Publisher: Kids Can

Pudgy black-and-white kitty Binky lives on a space station, where, like any good member of F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), he protects his two humans from aliens. Binky’s humans call the aliens “bugs,” and the space station resembles a house in the suburbs, but Binky is dedicated nonetheless. He’s so committed that while collecting parts to build his rocket ship, he trains hard. He trains on the flight simulator (ceiling fan). He trains in the zero-gravity chamber (clothes drier). When his rocket is complete, the countdown starts…but he’s forgotten to make room for his humans! What’s a space cat to do? Spires’s mix of sly, dry and slapstick humor in her first graphic novel is perfect. Binky’s imaginings are differentiated from his actual life by the borders of the panels, and the solemn narration leaves lots of room for ironic contrast with the images. Details in the muted watercolor illustrations, like mousie Ted covering his nose as Binky releases “space gas,” will keep readers of all ages giggling, whether they’re cat lovers or not. (Graphic fiction. 6-10)