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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Joe and the Planets: The Joe Series, Volume 1 is a children's fantasy/science fiction picture book written by Steve Robinson and illustrated by Chris Wells. Joe wants to stay up and watch the stars with his astronomer father, but his dad says that he can't stay up late enough until he turns eight. Joe's pretty excited as that birthday has finally arrived. His parents have gotten him some cool toys, like bricks and a magic set, but he didn't get the rocket he really wanted. So, after playing in the park, he goes home and builds a rocket out of his bricks and then he casts a spell on it with his magic wand. He wishes for the rocket to grow and then he starts to get very tired. Suddenly he notices that his rocket is huge, and inside there's a robotic computer named Teknik. Teknik tells Joe to relax and enjoy his trip, and they set off for a tour of the planets.
Steve Robinson's children's fantasy/science fiction picture book, Joe and the Planets: The Joe Series, Volume 1, combines Robinson's inspired and humorous verse with Chris Wells' awesome illustrations. I loved how Robinson creates inhabitants for each of the planets and Pluto, and sets up a mythology for each of them. Joe and Teknik's solutions to the problems of those unhappy beings that they encounter are perfect, and each planetary visit works so well especially with the cosmic and intense illustrations. I found myself marveling at each panel as I read the story. There's so much detail, color and imagination, all backlit with hundreds of stars, planets and galaxies. Joe and the Planets is a book that will cause adults and children alike to marvel and get involved in this clever and imaginative story. There's so much to explore along with Joe, and the conclusion to the tale is a delight. Joe and the Planets: The Joe Series, Volume 1 is most highly recommended.