Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Review: Commander Toad and the Voyage Home by Jane Yolen, illustrations by Bruce Degen (Commander Toad #7)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Puns and a good story
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
One last hop for Toad
As he takes his mission home
Brings last laughs to us

Unexpected Voyage Home

When I rediscovered the Commander Toad books a couple years back, I didn’t quite make it to the final book in the series.  Commander Toad and the Voyage Home actually came out a decade after the rest in the series, so it is appropriate that I spent so long getting around to reading it, right?

If you aren’t familiar with these picture books, they are spoofs on science fiction.  With character names like Jake Skyjumper and a ship called Star Warts, they take some digs at Star Wars.  However, Commander Toad and his crew are on a mission to explore unknown worlds, so the books feel like they belong in the Star Trek franchise.

And this book finds the crew’s mission winding down.  After several years in space, they can now head home for some much needed rest.  So, Commander Toad puts the command into the computer.  Only, when they arrive, they don’t recognize the planet at all.  What has happened?

What I love about these books as an adult are the puns, and this book features plenty of them.  They make me laugh as I read.  And be sure to look for the added jokes that Bruce Degen puts in his illustrations.  Parents might have to explain a joke or two to young kids, but I think most of them will get the humor.

The story itself is pretty clever as well.  Don’t worry, you won’t have to explain something super complex to your kids.  Commander Toad and crew actually reach a solution to their mystery that makes perfect sense.

I mentioned Bruce’s illustrations already.  They add to the charm of the story as they perfectly capture the crew’s personalities and the story as it is unfolding.

This is classified as an easy reader, but I definitely think a few of the words are on the more challenging side.  All that means is that parents will have a chance to help their young reader figure out some new words when they are ready to tackle that challenge.

Commander Toad and the Voyage Home is a fantastic picture books that kids of all ages will love.  Long may Commander Toad hop from star to star.

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