Explore Outer Outer Space Where Dastardly Villains Await In This Hilarious And Inventive Illustrated Middle Grade NovelBrooklyn, Earth Lily Lupino Is Going To Be An Astronaut When She Grows Up For Now, She Ll Have To Settle For Listening To Science Fiction Programs On The Radio But When Certified Spacetronaut Kosmo Kidd Crash Lands His Wind Up Rocket Ship In Lily S Kitchen, It S A Chance Lily Can T Pass Up Mistaking Lily For A Boy, Kosmo Agrees To Take Her Back To His Floating Treehouse In The Stars, But It Doesn T Take Long For The Other Spacetronauts To Figure Out That Lily Is A Girl Kosmo Has Accidentally Broken Spacetronaut RuleNO WIMMEN ALOWD Banished To The Far Reaches Of Outer Outer Space, Lily And Kosmo Explore Exotic Alien Worlds, Meet A Menagerie Of Colorful Creatures, And Tangle With The Vilest Villain In Space, The Mean Man Of Morgo But Lily S Greatest Challenge Is Proving To Her New Spacetronaut Peers That A Girl From Brooklyn Can Hold Her Own Among The Galaxy S Unruliest Rascals I picked this one up based solely on the cover, but it just didn t live up to the potential The artwork throughout was fantastic expressive, interesting, fun that s what s earned this review its second star The writing itself wasn t bad But the story hinges on a certain nostalgia for the 50s space craze despite taking place in 1949, everything screamed 50s to me that I really don t have an interest in personally and have some issues with as a professional recommender of books for children There are so many references to sexism, stereotypes galore ugh I think the author was trying to satirize these, but didn t successfully undercut the exaggerated misogyny in order to show its true colors Lily is shown as an exception to all the other female characters the Piranha Sisters are ultra girly competing to win Kosmo s affections, Lily s mother is a hysterical ditz who is broken father s word when Lily cuts her hair, and the secretary encompasses all the mean old spinster stereotypes there are Kosmo is shown as black, but no other side characters and we see a bevy of them seem to be anything but white, excepting one Spaniard in the Lost Boys set I could go on, but this review is already ridiculously long. Hard to believe this book was published in 2018 The main character cuts off her hair so she can be like her astronaut hero, but then her father blusters and fumes about girls knowing their place, and throws away all her astronaut toys Then she rockets off to outer space where she meets up with a band of boy spacestronauts with a No Girls Allowed space club Their other big rule No Blubbering I kid you not Sigh I m not saying that misogyny is over, but it feels like the author is sort of missing some nuance here And like he s missing the real, lived impact of negotiating a sexist and misogynistic world The villains in the real world aren t all mustache twirling baddies, and the sexism girls encounter is often of a subtler nature But it most definitely still exists The depiction in this book felt pretty dismissive Like this white, male author was trying veeeeery hard to stay current in the MeToo era Like he believes that somehow misogyny has gone the way of old fashioned radio operas and Doo Wop music and the other 1940 s era cultural artifacts that populate this story Also, I don t love that the book tries to earn brownie points for diversity by featuring a female protagonist and picture of racially diverse cast on the cover especially when the author is a white dude And honestly, the biggest sin The book was just so boring, and all its references so dated Do kids nowadays know what Doo Wap is Are they going to be swept up by an epic thumb war battle Will they resonate with the message that Gasp girls can be astronauts and have short hair, too This book just felt like really pedantic and honestly, sort of clueless Very disappointing. I m sure you ve wondered what if J M Barrie hadn t written Peter Pan in 1904 s London, but instead wrote a similar tale of Lost Boys, fantasy, adventure, and villains in 1940s America, and was highly influenced by the funny papers, the Cold War, science fiction, and Buffalo Bill And it was hilarious I think that s what this is Lily is fascinated by the weekly radio broadcast of Trip Darrow s space adventures, and longs to be an astronaut herself Unfortunately for her, her obtuse parents don t share her progressive view of women s rights in space After she hacks off her long hair to looklike Trip, they ground her and throw away all her space toys But her practical astronautic do doesn t go to waste Spacetronaut Kosmo Kidd crashlands in her kitchen, whisking Lily and baby brother Alfie , into not just outer space, but Outer Outer Space the Wild West of the universe where kids roam free, wrangle comets, and ruffle the feathery mustache of the Mean Man of Morgo, who seeks to rid the galaxy of the plague of pint sized vermin, AKA children.Yee haw What a wild, silly romp through time and space, and delightful bucking of normative genres Jonathan Ashley s spot artwork is as amusing as his writing You might roll your eyes through much of the Looney Tunes worthy humor, but hey, you just as well might roll on the ground laughing I for one loved it E ARC from EdelweissA little too goofy My space adventure readers tend to want things a bitserious, like Walden s Earthfall Trilogy I really liked the 1949 setting, though. I cannot wait to get this book in the hands of my second and third graders They will love how brave and adventurous Lily is and they will be tickled by the silliness of scenes They always want a great adventure and this one will bring them fun and excitement with a bit about the 1940s Little Rascals meets Doctor Who But set in 1949.No, like WTF, was this my reaction to the ending No payoff whatsoever. Lily and Kosmo in Outer Outer Space is a mostly enjoyable middle grade science fiction novel I wish I had enjoyed itthan I had It has a lot of elements to like such as the sci fi obsessed female lead and fantastic illustrations.I found the choice of time the book is set in to be interesting Set in 1949, typical things that kids these days would recognize such as televisions and cell phones aren t even mentioned The idea of listening to a program via the radio instead of seeing it Probably a bit shocking It adds an additional level of the surreal to the book.Going back to the illustrations They really are great I m not sure if they ll be colored in the final book, but I hope not The style suits the story to a T My favorite one included some vaguely Dalek shaped bad guys coming out of a spaceship.For some reason Lily and Kosmo in Outer Outer Space just did not click with me I found it odd, since it s the type of kids book I normally love I think my problem was that it just seemed a little too silly at times That and as much as I wanted to love the main character, I couldn t really get my inner child in touch with her At all.However, for readers on the youngest end of the middle grade age range, Lily and Kosmo in Outer Outer Space is probably a great choice.Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.
Jonathan Ashley is an author, playwright, concept artist, and filmmaker from Arizona He studied fine art at Boston s Museum School and filmmaking at NYU His illustrations and designs have been featured in films, commercials, comic books, and puppet shows He lives with his wife and daughter in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, on the Brooklyn side.
- 208 pages
- Lily & Kosmo in Outer Outer Space
- Jonathan Ashley
- 05 June 2018 Jonathan Ashley