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Review: Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3

Missile Mouse is back! While chasing a fugitive, Missile Mouse discovers that the being is a slave from the planet Tankium. The evil King Bognarsh has taken all of the Tankian men and implanted mind-control devices on them, forcing them to work in the mines. Missile Mouse is determined to destroy Bognarsh’s empire, but all he has for backup is a squadron of security bots. How can robots without a heart or a real brain be of any use?

Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3
Jake Parker
Age Rating: 8-12
Scholastic Graphix, January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-11716-6 (hbk); ISBN: 978-0-545-11717-3 (pbk)
160 pages, $21.99 (hbk)/$10.99 (pbk)

I loved Missile Mouse’s first adventure (reviewed here at GCFK) and have been eagerly awaiting Parker’s next book. And when it finally appeared, I wasn’t disappointed. No, Rescue on Tankium3 is not quite as wonderful as The Star Crusher was, though that’s mainly because my expectations were so very high to begin with. Rescue on Tankium3 is still a superb science-fiction adventure that doesn’t sell its small hero short. The beauty of Parker’s Missile Mouse is that he is both ordinary and extraordinary, so readers of all ages can both identify with him and look up to him. He’s no less strong and resourceful here in his second tale and his willingness to admit when he’s wrong about someone is yet another nice addition to an already well-rounded character.

Speaking as an adult reader, the “rescue the poor enslaved natives” storyline is a little overdone, though I’m sure children reading this will not think so. But Parker is careful not to make the Tankian people too simple or too innocent. King Bognarsh is all the way evil, as is the bounty hunter Blazing Bat, but Parker keeps their endings child-friendly. There is some violence–typical for science-fiction and adventure stories–but nothing beyond the intending age range. And even while working to craft a children’s story, Parker also manages to make a story which can be enjoyed by adults who like a rousing sci-fi romp.

Parker’s art is as bright and eye-catching as it was in Missile Mouse’s first outing. He mostly uses square or rectangular panels, but he fills them with unique angles and perspectives which move the action along quickly and keep the eyes engaged. The colors leap from the page in almost cinematic fashion. Tiny details bring his futuristic setting to life and readers will love the “Guide to Missile Mouse’s Universe” at the end of the story. It shows the level of detail Parker has thought out about his characters and their accessories. Both fans of the first book and those new to Missile Mouse’s world will find something to enjoy here. A top-notch children’s graphic novel.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Scholastic/GRAPHIX.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.

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