October 20, 2011

Binky Under Pressure

by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press
64 pp.
Ages 7-10

If you were loveable Binky (of Binky the Space Cat and Binky to the Rescue fame) and another cat had invaded your space, wouldn't you be under pressure too? Binky the Space Cat (Kids Can Press, 2009), winner of OLA's Silver Birch Express Award last year, has a lot of expectations to fulfill.  He still has to keep his space station (house) safe from aliens (bugs).  His humans need his cuddles.  He has to get enough sleep.  How can he do all that and deal with Gracie, the perfect foster cat?

My own Gracie (yes, that's really her name) is soon going to have a foster kitten around, and I can just imagine her reactions.  Luckily, fostering is not adopting, but poor Binky doesn't know that. He has to share - his food, his litter box, his humans, his best friend.

But, Binky is very clever; after all,  he's a F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) certified space cat.  Through small acts of diplomacy and rigorous investigation, Binky learns of Gracie's true identity and realizes the value of working together.

Ashley Spires' graphic novels of Binky have such a sweet, light touch to them that they bridge the picture book-graphic novel genres beautifully.  Never too heavy in illustrations or in text, with the right mixture of plot and characterizations, Ashley Spires has conceived a well-loved creature sure to be around for many volumes.  Thank goodness.

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