Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Adventures of Commander Zack Proton

The Adventures of Commander Zack Proton and the Red Giant
by Brian Anderson, Illustrated by Doug Holgate, 2006

I am wondering if Brian Anderson is a fan (as I am) of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Zack Proton is a brave and gallant space ranger patrolling the universe and on his way to deliver mail to the outermost star of the outermost galaxy when he accidentally opens, the wrong door on his spaceship and finds himself alone and adrift in space. Luckily, a nameless spaceship captained by a simian astronaut named Omega Chimp rescues him. Omega Chimp has learned to survive on his own after being abandoned by Mission Control, (“They wouldn’t dare pull that on Buzz Aldrin.”) Together they must stop a red giant named Big Large who is swallowing whole planets.

The book's nutty humor will particularly appeal to boys. The font is large and easy to decipher with lots of white space framing the text. Doug Holgate's illustrations cleverly underscore the storyline. As Zack searches for the spaceship restroom, he ignores at least nine very funny signs warning him that he is about to open the wrong door. Flashbacks are explained in comic book style. Robot recall notices, a banana pancake recipe and clever lists such as, "Omega Chimp's Top Ten Ways to get a Space Hero Off your Ship" interject more humor as the story unfolds.

This will be a fun series to share with kids who have worn out the Flip-O-Ramas in their Captain Underpants books. The mix of text and pictures works well to support emerging and reluctant readers. I would put this series on my “buy list” right away!

The Official Zack Proton Genuine Intergalactic Web site

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