Sunday, November 6, 2016

Book Review: Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy by Jane Yolen (Commander Toad #5)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Puns and fun; story is well done
Cons: I don’t spy any
The Bottom Line:
Pick the correct spy
Problem when in a disguise
Fun for young readers




I Spy Another Great Commander Toad Book

I’ve been enjoying rediscovering the Commander Toad picture books.  The gentle spoof of science fiction combined with word play is fun, and the stories are pretty good.  The spy genre is thrown in for the fifth book in the series, Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy, and that just adds to the fun.

The newest mission for Commander Toad and his crew aboard the Star Warts is to retrieve a spy.  Agent 007 1/2 is ready to come in from the planet Eden.  This planet is where all spies come to spy on each other and then hopefully make it home safe.  Commander Toad has an advantage in this mission since Agent 007 1/2 is his cousin, Tip Toad.  While the agent is a master of disguise, Commander Toad has some key knowledge that will help him and his crew with the mission.

Eden turns out to be a warm planet with a huge meadow.  The crew has hardly landed before they think they’ve found Tip Toad disguised as a monster.  However, soon four other monsters have appeared who are just as likely to be the spy.  Can Commander Toad figure out which is really Tip?

Even though this book adds spying to the mix, this is still a very fun book for all types of kids.  There is nothing scary at all that happens, just a puzzle to be solved of who is the real 007 1/2.  The solution to the problem is completely creative and perfect.  Even kids, the target audience will understand what is happening and why it works to identify the correct spy.

Of the five I’ve read so far, this has to be the punniest yet.  We got multiple puns throughout the book, one of which I’ve already given away.  That’s always been a favorite feature of mine, but this time around, they seemed better than ever.

And once again, the illustrations of Bruce Degen bring the story to perfect life.  He slips a few jokes of his own into the early pictures, so watch for those.

Outside of a few ranks for the crew, this book definitely belongs in the easy reader category.  Beginning readers should be able to sound out any words they don’t know easily enough.  Adults might have to explain a pun or two to them, but that is all that might trip them up.


So join this unlikely crew for another fun adventure with Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy.  You’ll be glad you did.

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