Mungo and the Spiders from Space

Mungo and the Spiders from Space by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Adam Stower.

Mungo has just gotten a new comic book.  It’s used, battered and torn but his mother knew he would love it.  So when he asks to have it read to him that very night, she agrees. The story is about Captain Galacticus of Star Squadron and his robotic sidekick, Gizmo.  They are taking the Gobblebeast to the space prison when they are caught in a giant spider web.  A spider web created by giant robot spiders that are controlled and created by Dr. Frankenstinker.  When Captain Galacticus is trapped by the evil Dr and his army of spiders, Mungo discovers that the final page of his comic is torn out!  What is a boy to do when a story suddenly ends?

Filled with over-the-top zaniness and pure B-movie fun, this book will appeal to most boys who enjoy rockets, robots and comics.  Even better, this book takes all of those and makes a single great story of it.  There is just the right amount of danger for a preschool and elementary audience, just the right amount of laughs, and even some jokes for the parent reading it aloud.  The illustrations are very successful with Mungo’s reality being slightly blurred and soft and the interior of the comic book filled with crisp lines and bright colors.  When the comic book is being read, the outlines of the illustrations look aged and torn, adding to the feeling of reading the same comic Mungo is.  Add a great dash of magic, and the book comes together with a satisfying ending.

This is one of the rare comic-book format picture books that will work to read with a group of children.  With its mix of popular boy-friendly subjects, this book is sure to be a galactic-sized hit at your library.