Binky Takes Charge

ImageWritten and illustrated by Ashley Spires

Kids Can Press, 2012

64 p.; $16.95 (hardcover), $8.95 (paperback)

ISBN: 9781554537037 (hardcover); 9781554537686 (paperback)

Reviewed by Alisa Soukhodolskaia

Ages 7-10

In this new Binky Adventure, space cat Binky is promoted to lieutenant and given an important mission: to train a promising recruit for Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel. But when his owners bring home a puppy instead of a kitten -- and a very suspicious puppy at that, who seems to be aiding the evil aliens rather than destroying them – something is definitely amiss. Binky and Gracie will have to discover who this puppy really is, before the aliens attack!

This graphic novel is clever and humorous, with subtle illustrations showing variations in the cats’ facial expressions sure to draw “awwws” out of readers of any age. The small amount of text per page will appeal to reluctant readers, who will also appreciate the plot and setting designed to elicit giggles. This book also works as a great introduction to integrating a new member – whether pet or sibling – into the family. The sole drawback is the grey and beige colour palette, which contrasts with the silliness of the story.