Binky Takes Charge

( 1 )

Overview

Binky the Space Cat, star of this junior graphic novel series, has been assigned an important mission: to train a new space cadet recruit. But when the youngster named Gordon shows up at Binky's house, he's not the kitten Binky expected. In fact, he's not a kitten at all. He's a dog! Because of a new diversity program, dogs are now allowed into P.U.R.S.T. -- Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel (formerly Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel). Ever dutiful, Binky and his colleague Gracie give it ...
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Overview

Binky the Space Cat, star of this junior graphic novel series, has been assigned an important mission: to train a new space cadet recruit. But when the youngster named Gordon shows up at Binky's house, he's not the kitten Binky expected. In fact, he's not a kitten at all. He's a dog! Because of a new diversity program, dogs are now allowed into P.U.R.S.T. -- Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel (formerly Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel). Ever dutiful, Binky and his colleague Gracie give it their best effort to train him, but Gordon just seems too simpleminded to be up to the task. It's not until they've nearly given up in exasperation that the two cats learn the surprising truth about Gordon -- he's not the dimwitted dog they thought he was! Author-illustrator Ashley Spires has created a hilarious premise for this unique series. The artwork, with its limited palette of soft neutral colors, keeps the focus on the animals' antics. The dialogue is mainly in cat- or dog-speak ("roooph!"), but Spires also includes many other sound effects (including "pssssssss" for peeing and "poot" for gas passing). This book is clever and funny, with lots of action, melodrama and laugh-out-loud physical comedy, making it enormously appealing to emerging readers. In addition, the inclusion of the topic of diversity here provides an opportunity for classroom discussions about differences and our expectations about others. The book also speaks to the character education concepts of initiative, responsibility and teamwork.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Raina Sedore
There is a new player in Binky's world. Binky is initially excited to train up another F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) agent. But when he meets the new agent, Binky is disappointed and dismayed. After living with the new agent for a while, he becomes downright suspicious! Could the new recruit be a double agent? This new chapter in the adventures of the much-beloved Binky the Space Cat is a story of espionage, stereotypes, and hairballs. Spires' gently whimsical full-color illustrations tell Binky's story using a nice variety of page layouts. Binky's setting is filled with a mix of pet-appropriate and more anthropomorphized secret agent elements. Cat-lovers everywhere will giggle at Binky's view of the world as an alien land to be triumphed over, as well as at the gadgets and other secret agent training conventions that Binky depends upon. This is a fun graphic novel for fans of cats and secret agents. Reviewer: Raina Sedore
Kirkus Reviews
Space cat Lt. Binky has been tapped for a new assignment: recruit trainer! Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel (F.U.R.S.T.) and Captain Gracie are pleased to announce that Lt. Binky is about to get his first recruit to train. Since Binky had to train himself, he knows the importance of a mentor and a well-thought-out training plan. Those aliens (read: flies) won't fight themselves! But when the recruit arrives… Horrors! There's a new diversity program at F.U.R.S.T., and Gordon, a dog, has been assigned to Binky. Binky decides to give it his all. As expected, Gordon falls short. Then Binky discovers the unthinkable: Gordon seems to be leaving coded messages in outer space (that's outside, to humans) for the aliens in his… well, what flies like. He's also disabling alien-zappers and stealing human technology. If they are to prove Gordon is a double agent, Gracie and Binky will need incontrovertible proof! Spires' fourth Binky graphic adventure is as fresh and hysterical as the first. The watercolor graphic panels are as visually appealing as the narration is clever, offering up a little potty humor, a bit of over-the-top adventure-tale parody and a few nifty surprises. Great entertainment for readers big and little whether they are fans already or not. A purrrfect mix of slapstick, deadpan and catpan. (Graphic novel. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554537686
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Series: Binky Adventure Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 258,187
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2013

    Binky, the Space Cat, has a new assignment. He is in charge of

    Binky, the Space Cat, has a new assignment. He is in charge of training a new recruit to the F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) organization. And he thinks he is prepared, until the new recruit shows up and he discovers that F.U.R.S.T has become P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) and the recruit is a dog! What's Binky to do? How can he train a DOG! He doesn't know but he gives it a try, but the dog is terrible at everything Binky tries to teach him. He might even be a spy for the aliens! Binky and Captain Gracie need to find out just who and what the new recruit is before the alien's invade. Full of humorous illustrations and just enough potty humor, children are bound to relate to Binky and his dilemma. Spires' dry sense of humor is very evident throughout the book and I found myself snickering more than once. I confess I did not see the twist at the end coming, all the evidence seemed to point at something else. Overall, a nice addition to a fun series and perfect for kids who love pets and graphic novels.

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