Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A BRAVE SPACEBOY by Dana Kessimakis Smith


by Dana Kessimakis Smith & illustrated by Laura Freeman

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-0933-7
Publisher: Hyperion

Using a big box and a colander “helmet,” a lad turns the stress of moving-in day into the excitement of a rip-roaring space adventure—but this promising premise runs afoul of inexpert execution in both writing and pictures. As a versifier, Smith has trouble keeping her word stresses and syllable count consistent, as well as remembering that rhyme should serve meaning, not vice versa: “I pop the hatch, the rocket door / We wave good-bye to our team / We climb on board, we buckle in / The engines smoke and steam.” (No, rocket ships don’t smoke or steam.) While this repeat visit might be welcomed by those who enjoyed A Wild Cowboy (2004), the contrast between the boy’s imagination in the text and the reality in the pictures is less pronounced and doesn’t have the fresh surprise of occupational idioms used to bring a smile upon recognition. (Picture book. 6-8)