June 22, 2018

Gordon: Bark to the Future!

A P.U.R.S.T. Adventure
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press
72 pp.
Ages 7-10
May 2018

Gordon, the dog who first appeared in Ashley Spires's Binky Takes Charge (Kids Can Press, 2012) as a new recruit to P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), is now at the heart of his own adventure, and it's up to him to save the day.
From Gordon: Bark to the Future! by Ashley Spires
When the aliens (insects) attack in full force, the easily-distracted but tech-savvy canine is the only one of his team to escape to the lab behind the couch.  His only choice is to use his prototype device to send himself back five days earlier to stop the alien invasion before it begins.
But he must be careful not to change anything else.

If he changes the past too much, he could jeopardize the future, which is, technically, his present because he's in the past.

Holy Hair Balls, that's confusing. (pg. 17)
But Gordon soon realizes that he's gone back 5 years and Binky is but a kitten without space accreditation, Gracie (Binky's sidekick) doesn't live next door and Gordon hasn't even been born! Worse yet, his device is out of allofuzzium fuel. Contacting P.U.R.S.T., which is still the felines-only F.U.R.S.T., has the cats freaking out and abandoning headquarters.  It really is up to Gordon alone.
The past needs a poop scoop because this place stinks. (pg. 31)
Gordon makes it back but then realizes he has made a serious revision in the time continuum and must return to truly make things right.
From Gordon: Bark to the Future! by Ashley Spires

I've loved Binky since he appeared in his first adventure, Binky the Space Cat (Kids Can Press, 2009), and cherish every new adventure in his family of books.  Even with Binky only being a secondary character to Gordon's adventure in Gordon: Bark to the Future! (as also happened in Fluffy Strikes Back, Kids Can Press, 2016), the hilarity of pets striking out to save their humans charms even a steadfast cat-lover such as myself.  Gordon has spunk and brains, and even though his attention is sometimes lost to the need for play and food, he comes through with fun and invention. Ashley Spires always, always delights with her illustrations and stories. Look at Gordon in the illustration above trying to swing his way to the top of the roof, only to slide down the wall past the oblivious kitten that is Binky. The art is direct, effective and effusive with story and sensation.

The space pets of P.U.R.S.T. are still fighting those dastardly aliens and keeping their humans safe in Gordon: Bark to the Future! but, with time travel in their arsenal, it's a whole new world of fighting back. Good boy, Gordon!

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