Catstronauts is purrrrfect summer reading for kids of all ages and genders

Posted by on July 1, 2018

Cover of Catstronauts #1, Mission Moon, a graphic novel by Drew Brockington. Three cats blast off into space!

This series is the literary equivalent of a PB&J sandwich. It’s two great tastes — cats and astronauts — smooshed together between two slices of bread … I mean covers

In each installment of this five-book series, a fuzzy group of feline CatStronauts, led by Major Meowser and Chief Science Officer Pom Pom, takes on an important space mission to save the world.

Reluctant readers and all genders will love these books by author and illustrator Drew Brockington.

“They’re fun,” said my 9-year-old son, a confident reader who raced through the first three books in the series. “They’re easy to read, and they do fun things in the book, like going to the moon and going to Mars.”

When we loaned them to a friend who is a more tentative Grade 3 reader, she loved these books, too.

Keep in mind, this is not literature. Drew Brockington is no Harpurr Lee and Mission Moon is hardly The Great Catsby.

This is simply furry fun. The cats are predictably successful in their attempts to take on such ambitious projects as building a solar power plant on the moon and repairing the Hubba Bubba Telescope. But that doesn’t matter. They’re just so cute while they’re doing it!

Satiric undertones

The real tension in Mission Moon lies not in whether the courageous cats will avert disaster, but whether they’ll placate the President of the United States. He has a lot of uneducated opinions, wants to blame the CatStronauts for his falling approval ratings, and seems to depend on their success in what seems to be a near-constant election cycle.

In Race to Mars, the question isn’t whether they’ll land on Mars, but whether they’ll turn their nasty foes — a group of Russian cats who are also racing for Mars — into friends.

Brockington’s feline take on global geopolitics is not exactly scathing commentary on the relationship between science and politics in the Western world, but it’s enough to make these books fun for adult readers who might be conscripted at bedtime.

Ungendered aesthetic

I look for books that are not gendered in their marketing. My son has no problem reading books about girls, but even the smallest amount of pink or a pretty smattering of blossoms can turn him off.

The Catstronauts books, unlike many other books in the age category, would appeal to boys, girls, and kids who are neither or both. Does it matter whether Waffles is a female cat or a male one? No. What matters is that Waffles is a brave little kitty when the fish hits the fan.

All ages fun

This series is easy to read. Which is what makes them great for sharing amongst family members of different ages.

Readers as young as five would be able to tackle the vocabulary. There aren’t too many words on each page, so there is still the feeling of fast-paced action, even for a slow reader. Still, there’s enough language play and punny dialogue to make these books appealing to readers as old as 12.

That’s why I love these books for summer consumption. They’re great for sharing amongst cousins at the cottage or cabin-mates at camp.

———

Like this review? For more reading inspiration and recommendations, sign up for my newsletter.

12 Books Newsletter

About 12 Books

My blog 12 Books is an evolution of a book review project I did in 2018 called 52 Books.

I wanted to read more and write more, so I set the goal of reading and reviewing a book a week.

I couldn’t keep up with the grueling schedule, but the project had the intended effect anyway. I am happier and calmer and more focused on what matters to me.

In 2019, I’ll slow down and read and review a book each month. To reflect that, I’ve renamed my blog 12 Books.

I’ll write reviews of non-fiction books about personal finance, wealth mindset, leadership, careers, digital transformation and more.

12 Books Newsletter

I write a monthly newsletter about what I’m reading — online and in print. Follow along to make 2019 a year of less Netflix.

Subscribe