Friday, March 16, 2012

Binky Under Pressure

Binky is a space cat. At least Binky thinks he is a space cat. In his mind, he has built his own spaceship, traveled to outer space, and is engaged in a continual battle with aliens (which we might call flies) from overtaking his space station (cat bed). He will now face his greatest challenge to date.

Binky is blissfully passing his days, lolling around on the space station, perfecting a balanced sequence of eat, nap, eat, nap, cuddle. He is rudely awakened one afternoon by a strange cat looming over his bed. Worse yet, Gracie the foster cat will be staying awhile. Binky will have to share his food bowls, litter box, and cuddle time. Blech. While Binky is terrific at battling aliens, he is not so great at sharing.

After a few failed attempts to coerce the strange cat into leaving, Binky makes a shocking discovery. Gracie isn't just some stray ... she's a card carrying (literally) Certified Space Cat. This cat is his boss and she's here to conduct evaluations to determine if he shall maintain space cat status. Although Binky is a bit rusty (due to his nap, eat, nap schedule) he perseveres and shows his boss what he's made of. He does so well in a giant alien showdown that he is promoted. Shortly after, Gracie moves in with the family next door and they begin making plans to construct a secret tunnel to connect their space stations.

This book is done in a comic book kind of style, which I have found to be quite appealing to kids. I think this just the right combination between a picture book and an older reader. It's not babyish at all, there are tons of photos, and just enough dialogue to be interesting but not overwhelming.

Obviously, the plot is pretty funny, and Binky is an engaging subject. Besides the apparent quirk of his space cat occupation, he also has a teeny purple stuffed toy that he hugs while he sleeps. His signature expression is "holy fuzzbutt" and he has been known to pass a bit of accidental gas when startled. Binky is flat out a true character - the kind who will always find himself in some sort of situation and the very best kind to read about.      

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press. 

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