Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Double Graphic Novel Review: Zita the Spacegirl + Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke


Title: Zita the Spacegirl
Author: Ben Hatke
Illustrator: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Paperback; 192
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Source: Library
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Recommended Age Group: 8+
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.
I. Loved. This. LOVED IT!

First off, the illustrations are absolutely wonderful. They're simple, yet vibrant, and they pull you into the story easily. Zita is so darn cute! In fact every character depicted in these pages has their own little flair. I love when the illustrations create voices in my head for each character. These did just that! It makes following along with this rag-tag group of adventurers that much more fun. I couldn't get enough!

Oh, and what a story. Zita is brave, and kind. She shows readers that doing the right thing isn't always easy. That friendship is important, and can be found in the unlikeliest of places.That being brave doesn't mean you're not scared, but that you persevere even though you are. I ate it up. Every panel, every piece of this story. It was all so perfect. I'd put this into the hands of a young reader in a heartbeat.

Adorable robots, misfit mice, and all manner of amazing creatures populate this world. It's hard not to be smitten. It really is. So very much love for this first installment of Zita! I need the rest as soon as humanly possible, and you can bet your behind that I'll be buying these. If you haven't already read this, add it to your list. It's worth it!



Title: Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
   *Series: Zita the Spacegirl #2
Author: Ben Hatke
Illustrator: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Paperback; 224
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Source: Library
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Recommended Age Group: 8+
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure. Zita is determined to find her way home to earth, following the events of the first book. But things are never simple, and certainly never easy, in space.

Zita's exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she's about to find out that fame doesn't come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you've got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc . . . while wearing your face?

Still, if anyone can find their way through this intractible mess of mistaken identity and alien invaders, it's the indomitable Zita, in Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.
Ah, Zita. How I missed you! Remember how much I raved about the first graphic novel in this series? Well, prepare yourself my friends. I plan to do just as much gushing about Legends of Zita the Spacegirl. Things could get a little fanatic.

First off, reading this second book only solidifies my love for Ben Hatke's illustrations! His characters are just so bright and vivid! Of course all of our friends from the first book are back. Strong Strong with his lovable demeanor, Piper with his schemes and such, every character was just as wonderful as the first time I met them. Plus, there were new characters to meet! I giggled my way through the argument between an alien with multiple arms and an alien with multiple eyes over who was more equipped to pilot a spacecraft. Each and every panel is so packed with gorgeous visuals! This book is definitely a treat for the eyes, and I loved it.

I also loved that Zita was back! I've been waiting to get my hands on this second installment, to see where her adventures would take her next. This time Zita was dealing with new issues. Fame versus friendship. Responsibility to her fans. What's a girl to do when she's suddenly an intergalactic superstar? I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Zita is an amazing role model for young readers. Her bravery, her kindness, everything about her is completely addictive. I'm not even the target audience, and yet I'm in love.

Insert a happy sigh right here, because that's how I feel about this story. I have to give so much love to Ben Hatke for sharing Zita with us. The ending promises more amazing adventures around the corner. Now I just need to find the third book so I can find out what happens next!

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