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Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2014 Few of us realize that deep below the surface of the Moon is a small but intrepid team protecting Earth from extraterrestrial invaders. Patrolling among the planets and stars, Spaceman navigates a flying saucer launched from their moon base; Robot scans the monitor for trouble; Monkey is at the ready with bananas. When a suspicious crater is located on a distant planet, Monkey emerges with his banana shooter, littering the planet with fruit, which lures dreadful aliens up top for a feeding frenzy (“Sleepy and full, the creatures retreat./ They’ve all had far too much to eat./ Feeding time is important, you see-/ It stops them from eating you and me”). The story’s pretty thin and the scansion sometimes wobbly, but the concept of tentacled aliens tamed by a yummy part of a well-balanced breakfast is, ahem, a-peeling. Price’s moon base is an amusingly old-school, gray-toned vision of mechanical banana loaders, hardware-intensive computer technology, and Buck Rogers-era spacecraft, while the aliens, in lurid hues of green and purple (and individually identified on the endpapers), make a brilliant showing against their dull planetary rockscape. This may not make the most soothing bedtime fare, but kids whispering “Goodnight, Moon” can take some comfort in the knowledge that Spaceman, Robot, and Monkey are there to keep us safe. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 08/01/2014 The clipped title of this picture-book debut sets up the rhyming pattern of the rest of the story: “Open the hatch. Down we go. . . . / Where does it end? Soon we’ll know.” Where we’re going is, well, a space base, where our heroic crew—“a spaceman, a robot, and a cheeky monkey!”—are packing their saucer for a space trip of undescribed purpose. Price uses disorientation to his advantage, constantly showing puzzling activities, being cagey about what’s being depicted, and often seeming as baffled as the reader: “Monkey is sent out to explore. / Why he’s dropping bananas, we’re not quite sure.” There is an explanation, though, as the robotic, straight-edged, silver-heavy illustrations at last give way to a burst of color—a rippling, tentacled, multi-eyed horde of alien beasts crawling from a crater. It’s actually a tad scary, but all ends well: the bananas are to sate the beasts so that they don’t eat people. Bonus: the book ends with pictures and descriptions of each alien, from Snoolab to Kroblit to Voog. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.