Eek and Ack are space alien brothers facing two evil foes: their fed-up mom and mean sister. When their mom sends them outside for playing with their rocket packs inside the house and their older sister derides their ability to play Galaxy Conquest, the two brothers decide to conquer Earth. According to an insert provided by the publisher, the book is focused on helping reluctant readers and English language learners. Features of the book include "Aligned to Character Education" and "Carefully controlled vocabulary." It is unclear what those phrases really mean, but the result is clear; the book is driven more by these nebulous goals than by plot or character motivation. The author seems to assume the reader will pay even less attention to the text than he did while writing the book. In one section, the alien's washing-machine-shaped spaceship is carried into a laundromat by two humans and in the very next line Eek (or possibly Ack, it is difficult to tell them apart) looks at an older woman folding her underwear and jeers "Look at how weak they are." The woman is not struggling to lift the underwear, and two men just moved a presumably heavy spaceship, so it is unclear why the aliens feel that humans are weak. It should also be noted that while this book is written for four to eight year olds, the discussion questions listed at the end are geared more for the older half of the audience. Additionally, Eek and Ack's Galaxy of Facts states that "one day on the planet Pluto is the same amount of time as a week here on Earth;" however the definition of a planet has been recently redefined and Pluto no longer qualifies. It is unacceptable for a book with a stated goal of academicachievement to contain inaccurate information. Also, the illustrations in this graphic novel often fail to impress—for example, several panels feature gray objects next to gray uniforms on a gray background. Jokes about dirty underwear and smelly humans may engage reluctant readers, but that audience would be better off reading Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series.
Blake A. Hoena grew up in central Wisconsin, where, in his youth, he wrote stories about robots conquering the Moon and trolls lumbering around in the woods behind his parent’s house — and the fact that the trolls were hunting for little boys had nothing to do with Blake’s pesky younger brothers. Later, he moved to Minnesota to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Since graduating, Blake has written more than forty books for children, including retellings of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and the Perseus and Medusa myth. Most recently, he’s working on graphic novels for Sports Illustrated Kids and writing stories about superheroes.
Steve Harpster has loved to draw funny cartoons, mean monsters, and goofy gadgets since he was able to pick up a pencil. In first grade, he avoided writing assignments by working on the pictures for stories instead. Steve was able to land a job drawing funny pictures for books, and that's really what he's best at. Steve lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wonderful wife, Karen, and their sheepdog, Doodle.