Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Sphdz #!: Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka and Francesco Sedita

Michael K. is the new boy in fifth grade. Being new is never fun but it's even worse when the other new kids in the class turn out to be aliens who have no concept of how to act like normal kids. They spout lines from old tv shows since Earth tv was beamed into their planet and is how they understand earthlings. Michael doesn't want to be associated with Bob and Jennifer or their commander, who is apparently the class hamster, but he cannot seem to escape them. For their part, they are innocently convinced that Michael K. is the help they need in order to save the Earth and keep it from being turned off. Silliness and outright goofiness abound here but there's not much explanation of the danger facing Earth that Michael K. so needs to help avert. The bumbling of Agent Umber (all the good color names were taken) is slightly reminiscent of Steve Martin's Inspector Clouseau with the chief difference that he does not, in the end, catch the aliens. Short and quick, this is the first in a projected series and seems almost to exist mainly to introduce the characters as there is little further explanation of the dire crisis facing our planet. There are ecological snippets scattered amongst the chapters, which perhaps give a clue to the ultimate crisis but it seems that further books in the series are needed for it to be stated explicitly.

I'm passing this one along to the youngest son to see what his take on it is, given that he's within the target age range for it. I only wish my ARC had finished artwork so he could have the full experience. In any case, I suspect it will be welcome reading as he tries to read for a half hour a day for more than 50 days over the summer to earn an ice cream party when school starts next year.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review.

1 comment:

  1. The Girl is looking forward to reading this one, and I immediately passed on the review copy to her. I must admit that I'm intrigued by the alien commander being the class hamster. That sounds funny.


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