November 02, 2012

Binky Takes Charge

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

When last we heard about Binky the Space Cat (Kids Can Press, 2009), he was Binky Under Pressure (Kids Can Press, 2011), dealing with a new feline. But Binky seems to be under even more pressure in Ashley Spires' latest Binky Adventure, Binky Takes Charge, as he has risen in rank to lieutenant and in charge of training a new recruit to F.U.R.S.T.  Actually F.U.R.S.T (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) has now become P.U.R.S.T., for all pets, and Binky's new cadet is a dog!

Gordon, a.k.a. that Puddle of Fuzz, Carpet-Wetter and that Stinky Furball according to Binky, seems almost untrainable, though Binky tries. But when Binky is convinced that Gordon is a spy and a traitor, Gracie (from Binky Under Pressure) and Binky put the puppy under surveillance to learn his methodology and ultimately his motives and technological skills.

Courtesy of award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires, the cherubic and determined Binky continues to entertain young readers with his clever but random misinterpretations.  His first impressions of situations and characters may be skewed but Binky is ready to defer to the evidence and admit when he is wrong, always making the best of a seemingly difficult situation.  Personally, I would love a human-Binky as a colleague in the workplace.  His heart is always in the right place and, even with his mistakes (which we all make), he is an asset to the team, here P.U.R.S.T.  When Binky Takes Charge, as an instructor and evaluator of new cadets, Binky is sure to build a great team of cadets while continuing to capture and amass a throng of young fans.

Read about Ashley Spires at Kids Can Press here or check out the cover story by Cheri Hanson in Quill & Quire's March 2012 magazine.

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