Saturday, 12 March 2011

Space Scout: The Kid Kingdom

Space Scout: The Kid Kingdom by H. Badger, cover by M. Deeble, illustrated by D. Greulich (Hardie Grant Egmont)
PB RRP $9.95
ISBN 978-192175976-5
Reviewed by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

Space Scout is a high action low word count series written to capture the imagination of reluctant readers. It places the reader in the future, when the earth is overcrowded and water is running out. Space scouts are specially trained individuals who venture into the universe in search of a new habitable planet for humans to move to. We travel through the universe with Kip, the youngest of the space scouts at 12 years old.

Kip is a likeable main character; presented with faults and strengths. His sidekick is a half human, half arctic wolf named Finbar. Together they complete Space Scout missions in a space ship with attitude.

This book – The Kid Kingdom has a very attractive premise, a planet with no parents. Kip travels to a planet that is ruled by a 12-year-old boy (his space double) and fun is the name of the game. The planet has a giant water bomb cannon, chocolate fountains that are free for all and allows kids to ride hover boards wherever they like. As you can imagine Kip is very attracted to this planet and the way the kids live.

No adults exist on the planet, the kids grow till the age of 13 and then they reverse age to become babies again – no death and no need for parents (and their rules). Kip’s adventure there is full of page turning games and mischief. It is up to Kip’s sidekick, Finbar to remain alert and recognise danger when it presents itself.

The book contains many wonderful ‘inventions’ such as the exploding matter cap worn when playing chasing. These caps explode the wearers matter into space, rendering them instantly invisible. The effects wear off in two minutes. When an invention is mentioned it is accompanied by an illustration. My son and daughter enjoyed the illustrations and ideas they presented a lot, as the book is jam-packed with wonderful futuristic inventions.

This book is fast paced, easy reading and a lot of fun. It contains a twist at the end and delightful imagery in the text. I recommend it for boys and girls and, in particular, advanced readers of a young age as the language and ideas are clean and fun.

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