Gordon: Bark to the Future, by Ashley Spires (a PURST adventure for Timeslip Tuesday)

I utterly adored Binky the Space Cat, the first book of Ashley Spires PURST (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) graphic novels perfect for early elementary readers (who can read but still not up to large text blocks), but not having readers of that age in my life for a while now, I hadn't kept up with the series.   Browsing in my local library (where I try to check out a few books every time I go in to pick up all my holds so as to support circulation numbers) I was very pleased to find Gordon: Bark to the Future, the newest PURST book (Kids Can Press, May 2018), because it filled two immediate needs--a dog book (for possible use in post I'm working on elsewhere) and a time travel book that I could read in one night (because that is the planning level at which I operate).

Gordon shares a space station/house with Binky and Gracie, the cat commanding officer, working tirelessly to keep out alien invaders (house flies).  But disaster strikes! A horde of aliens descends, Binky is captured, and Gracie neutralized, so it's up to Gordon to save the day!

Gordon is not a PURST of vigorous action; he's a thinker, not a fighter, and on top of that he's a dog, with a short doggy attention span.  He is, however, not a bad scientist for a dog, and has on hand a working time machine!  He uses it to go back five years, to warn Binky so the disaster can be forestalled.  But things go badly wrong when he accidently meddles with the path of the past, and Binky never becomes a space cat.   He has to go back in time to try again...but doesn't have enough fuel.  Is everything doomed?  Of course not.

So it's a cute graphic novel for the young, and it's also a very nice introduction to time travel paradoxes and convolutions.  It might not be fully understood by the young reader, but I think the fact that the pictures show what's happening helps, and most young readers in my experience (basically me and my own children, so an admittedly limited sample) are happy to accept not understanding, absorbing rather than dissecting things that don't make sense.

Personally I liked the conceit of the original Binky book (that Binky just thinks he's a space cat, but isn't really) better than the actual sci fi story of this one.  I like cats better than dogs too (favorite part of this one-- seeing kitten Binky!).  But it's still fun.

Sort answer: a really good time travel story for a demographic with few time travel books to choose from.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love the title. This sounds really cute. Thanks for telling me about it.


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