Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita and her friend Joseph stumble upon a crater made by an asteroid.  At the bottom of the crater is a strange device, and when Zita pushes the button, a creature pulls Joseph through!  Now it’s up to Zita to travel to an unknown doomed planet and save her friend.

This was great and also really cute.  You can tell right away that Zita is one of those bossy little kids who always have the upper hand.  When we first meet her, she's stolen her friend Joseph's notebook and is making him run after her to get it back.  She takes great pleasure in pushing the button on the device when Joseph begs her not too.  But, when it comes down to it, Zita really cares about her friend and after the initial shock and horror, Zita jumps right in after Joseph determined to get him back.

Zita finds herself on a planet that's only days away from being destroyed by an asteroid.  As she searches for Joseph, she makes numerous strange friends along the way, like a gigantic but not very smart alien creature, a giant mouse that can't talk but communicates through pictures, and a rejected battle orb.  In the end, Zita isn't able to jump back to Earth, but instead must travel there the long way on one of her friend's spaceship.  This will give her an opportunity, I'm sure, for many more adventures.

Zita is a spunky little kid, but she also gets scared sometimes.  She's always able to overcome her fear, either through help from her friends or because she realizes that even though she's scared and doesn't want to do it, she has to if she wants to help her friend.  

I found the style of illustrations very welcoming and friendly, even though there were pages with pictures of scary monsters.

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