Phillip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (author/illustrator of Oliver and the Seawigs) are a wonderfully matched creative pair who have imagined up a delicious space adventure full of robots, aliens and – best of all – cakes in their new book, Cakes in Space.
The hero, Astra, is asleep onboard a spaceship that will take 200 years to reach her new planet – but she wakes up early to find that their ship is travelling off-course and they are under attack… by cakes! Astra must escape the cakes, aliens, AND a nameless horror all while proving that ‘people should eat cakes, not the other way around…’.
Astra is an intrepid explorer driven by the same abilities that are valued in all children – curiosity, bravery and a healthy dose of imagination. She’s not intimidated by the strange and wonderful things she faces in her travels (especially not the burping, many-eyed, spoon-loving aliens) and she encourages herself to be strong for her family even when she is feeling scared. She won’t put up with the dangerous cakes wreaking havoc on board:
‘That’s it!’ she shouted. ‘I have had it with these blimmin’ cakes on this blimmin’ spaceship!’
The book combines a wonderful story with exciting illustrations; as Astra floats alone through the dark ship, the images take on darker tones of grey and black, but then they explode into strong lines and a bold orange when she explores the ship’s garden. Reeve and McIntyre use the layout of the book, the images, the text and the white space to direct the way children will read the story and makes it an immersive experience for them.
This is a fabulous story with just the right mix of crazy monsters, weird aliens, and exciting escapades for readers of all ages to enjoy. The small hardback format easy to hold open when reading aloud, or for snuggling with under the covers and would make a lovely gift.
Enjoy more Cakes in Space fun on Sarah McIntyre’s website where you can learn to draw Astra and design your own cake in space, read an interview with Philip and Sarah on the OUP Children’s Book Voices blog or watch the book trailer below
Cakes in Space