Hypercool paintings featuring alien school kids and elaborately detailed planetscapes juice up this weakly plotted tale of a young tinkerer transported to a galactic academy.
Tyler is mostly given to the sort of smarmy inventions that let him spy into his sister’s bedroom or splatter his dad with paint. Despite this, Tyler is promoted to an extremely multicultural orbiting school where he has a (sometimes literal) blast learning to use a jet pack and taking field trips to exotic planets. Cole, a digital artist with a hefty film résumé, plants an unrepentant smirk on his bright-eyed protagonist, surrounds him with heavily made-up but basically humanoid schoolmates, and places him in a series of atmospheric, dazzlingly finished high-tech or extraplanetary settings. Tyler’s overly expository first-person narration makes liberal use of exclamation points, an irritant that some readers may find mitigated by the cool sci-fi language. Readers of Mark Fearing’s Earthling! (2012), Aaron Reynolds and Andy Rash’s Superhero School (2009) and Dave Roman’s Astronaut Academy (2011) may feel a sense of déjà vu, but there’s more than enough eye candy to compensate.
A visually polished print debut—with a teaser on the front flap for the app version in place of a blurb. Unsurprisingly, also in development as a film. (Picture book. 7-9)