Willy Maykit is not an ordinary kid.
Although his scientist father was lost on an expedition to the Amazon, that hasn’t blunted Willy’s sense of adventure one bit. When a class field trip to Planet Ed comes up, Willy convinces his mother to put aside her worries and sign the permission slip. All goes well on the trip to the faraway planet, but Willy goes off to explore on his own, and when threatening weather leads to the hurried return of the spacecraft back to Earth, he is left behind. At first Willy believes he is the only one, but he soon discovers a green extraterrestrial named Norp along with Cindy Das (described as “the prettiest girl in class” and depicted as dark-skinned with long, dark hair; Willy is blond and fair-skinned). So the trio find themselves trying to survive attacks from huge hairy, hungry monsters (that sometimes wear sunglasses) until they are rescued. Trine keeps the outlandish plot and dialogue moving along at a speed-of-light pace. Some comic touches are employed a bit too often, such as android pilot Max’s overenthusiastic responses to a few well-known knock-knock jokes. For those still appreciative of a well-placed illustration to set the scene, Burks’ cartoon images won’t disappoint.
Readers new to chapter books and who like to laugh often will most likely find Willy’s story peppered with just enough silly humor (monster poop!) to keep the pages turning. (Adventure. 7-10)