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!
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.
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.
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