A space-adventure picture book featuring anthropomorphic animals…and nuts.
The story begins at the front endpapers—always a plus if it works, and this does. Readers are introduced to the main cast of characters in baseball-card–like illustrations (Owl: chief navigator, etc.) and are given a cross-sectional cutaway of the spaceship they inhabit. After the title page, floating words in space that increase in size à la Star Wars tell readers that the Lost Nuts of Legend have been found by the intrepid space crew, and now they are heading home. But, oh dear, the Star Nav is broken, and Beaver has eaten the paper map. The story continues with its Star Wars spoofs as the crew stops off to ask for directions at a cafe named Eat at Jim’s that resembles the iconic bar scene. Unsuccessful, their next stop is a planet that is inhabited by little critters that are allergic to nuts (which really shouldn’t be funny but is), and they get themselves into trouble when they board the evil Death Banana. The illustrations, mostly double-page spreads with speech bubbles, brim with visual and narrative jokes, and readers will be rewarded for perusing thoroughly. Happily, the large trim size facilitates this.
Light and playful, with busy action and energetic spoofs, this silly story is a good thing. (Picture book. 4-8)