13 March 2011

Feline fun: Binky the Space Cat

For any cat lover who has suspected that their cat has a rich inner life--this is the series for you. Binky is a domestic shorthair who is a certified member of F.U.R.S.T. That's 'Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel' for the uninitiated--which is all of humanity, by the way. Living in his space station with Big Human, Little Human, and his mousie toy, Ted, Binky has a solemn duty to protect his humans from a constant onslaught of alien activity. Also known as too many insects in the house. But as a member of F.U.R.S.T, Binky also has an intense desire to travel the stars, despite the fact that he has never left the house. Can he possibly do both?

Okay. So this is a series written for children making the leap from early readers and early chapters to more advanced graphic novel storytelling. That being said, there is so much in these two books to delight, confound, and generally amuse, why restrict the fun to the 6-10 demographic?
It's not always clear if Binky is actually living these grand adventures or simply spicing up his day-to-day activities with a lively dose of imagination. For instance, Binky has a covered litter box which is clearly "bigger on the inside." And the ability of a cat to build a space ship is always up for debate. But younger readers won't sweat the details, and older readers will recognize how humorously odd cats can be in general, even if they are Earth bound. Binky's understated expressions and occasional bouts of gas (euphemistically referred to as "space gas") add much to the visual appeal of this book.

I wish I had read these books when I made my list of favorite kiddielit (should that be "kittylit"?) cat series. With a combination of silly humor, tender moments, and a hero that can not only travel through space but clean under his legs as well, this is a series to watch.

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