Wednesday, March 8, 2017

*Review* #BeatTheBacklist - Fluffy Strikes Back by Ashley Spires

Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: April 1, 2016
Pages: 72


Fluffy Vandermere, the cat sergeant in charge of P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), works tirelessly to protect the world from alien (aka bug) domination. It's a big job. ?The whole planet is Fluffy's space station. All the people in the world are his humans. And every space pet out there is his responsibility.? Now, suddenly and without warning, Fluffy discovers P.U.R.S.T. headquarters, the most secure building in the world, is under attack by an angry swarm of insects, and they're armed with every cat's worst nightmare --- spray bottles! Warding off this level of terrifying invasion will require cunning, skill, ingenuity and the ability to move quickly. Fluffy's been out of the field and at his desk job for quite some time now --- is he up to this massive challenge? You bet he is! 

This hysterical graphic novel by talented artist Ashley Spires is a spin-off from her successful Binky Adventure series (Binky is a member of P.U.R.S.T.). Just as in the Binky books, dry wit and slapstick humor abound here as the animals oh-so-seriously go about their jobs --- with the occasional bathroom break, of course. The artwork, presented in many images per page, deftly conveys loads of action, emotional drama and physical comedy. This is a perfect book for emerging readers who are looking for something more challenging than a picture book that doesn't have too much text. The irresistible Fluffy also does a terrific job of showcasing lessons on the character attributes of individual responsibility, determination and courage.


I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

I have mentioned in the past that I don't really like graphic novels all that much. This book was an exception to that rule. There are many reasons why this might be the case, but I think the biggest is that it's targeted towards children, so the sequence for the graphics was easier to follow. I may also have enjoyed it more because I read it to my daughter, so I made more of an effort to read it in an excited fashion. The fact that it's about a cat, so it was reminiscent of Garfield comics from my youth in a way, helped as well. But ultimately, it was just a fun story. 

I felt like the story here was almost like Spy Kids meets The Secret Life of Pets. Even though Fluffy is a cat, he made me think of Gidget from Secret Life of Pets. He is strong, determined, and tenacious, just like Gidget. He refuses to give up even though the situation at hand seems almost hopeless. That can do attitude is exactly the kind of thing I want my children to be seeing. Also, they're both white and fluffy. 

The graphics are relatively simple as far as graphic novels go, but again, this book is for children so that makes sense and is to be expected. I do think that contributed to making this book feel a bit like the Garfield comics I loved to read in the newspaper as a kid though, in spite of the fact that nothing could compare to mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi. 

Overall I give Fluffy Strikes Back 5 out of 5 stars because not only did I enjoy it, but my daughter did too. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Ashley was born and raised in British Columbia where she resides still with her cats Gracie and Charlotte. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and a Graduate Diploma in Illustration from Sheridan College. In addition to her illustration, she founded Chicken Tika Creations (which she named after her dog, not the food) and is selling her hand felted items across Canada.

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