Children's Book Reviews by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Kids love superheroes, don’t they? Here’s a young superhero who’s won my heart. In fact, I want to be just like her when I grow up! Zita is a Spacegirl, and a character created by Ben Hatke. Today I plan to tell you a little about two of Ben’s graphic novels: Legends of Zita the Spacegirl (Vol 2) and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (Vol 3). They were published by First Second, rapidly becoming my go-to US publisher of graphic novels. (The first in the series is Zita the Spacegirl, if your kids would like to read the whole series.)
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
In Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, we see Zita after her triumph in Book One. She’s discovering that fame can have a price, and is thwarted in her desire to return to Earth. Her robot double creates even more problems for Zita. We meet all sorts of quirky characters - my favourite is Mouse/aka Pizzicato - some cute, some mildly scary as our young heroine rockets through one adventure after another.
Hatke has built a world I can only see kids wanting more of. They will love his whimsical artwork. There is so much detail to pore over and enjoy. Aliens and robots? Check. Flying circus? Check. Mysterious Ringmistress? Check. Doom Squad? (Gotta love a good doom squad!) Check. They’ll love the humour too.
Check out the Legends of Zita the Spacegirl trailer below or here.
The Return of Zita the Spacegirl
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl ended on a cliff hanger and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl reveals our young heroine being tried for space crimes, found guilty and thrown into the dungeons!
From the publisher:
Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy's greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!
Check out The Return of Zita the Spacegirl trailer below or here.
I recommend that librarians looking for graphic novels suitable for primary school should snap this series up. It’s perfectly pitched at the primary level, is light-hearted and action-packed. I love what graphic novels offer as far as teaching visual literacy skills is concerned. But the most valuable thing about them is that they lure kids to reading. Both books are great value at over 200 pages each, and are beautifully bound and printed paperbacks. I hope you'll be as delighted with them as I am!
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