Review: Space Blasters – Suzie Saves the Universe by Katie and Kevin Tsang, illustrated by Amy Nguyen

Cover image by Amy Nguyen, published by Farshore, 4th August 2022

With a cover as shiny and enticing as the latest high-tech gadget to emerge from Silicone Valley, this first book in a new series by husband and wife writing duo Katie and Kevin Tsang is simply irresistible!

Suzie Wen loves gadgets and when not watching her favourite TV show, Space Blasters in which the Universe is saved on a weekly basis, she can often be found tinkering with her latest creation. Unfortunately her inventions have a tendency to cause chaos. Two weeks after the great Automatic Dumpling Maker explosion, and despite being banned from inventing, Suzie decides that creating her own 3-D Space Blasters experience will liven-up the school holidays. Little does she realise just how hair-raising her adventures will be once she plugs in her Super 3DTV Gizmo…

I won’t give away any more of the plot but instead will outline the aspects that I particularly enjoyed about Space Blasters. The authors know their readership so well and have created another series which draws young readers in and presents them with entertainment and enjoyment from cover to cover. The appealing illustrations by Vietnamese animator and illustrator Amy Nguyen add to the enjoyment of the reading process, allowing opportunities for young readers to pause and explore the characters in graphic form. Publisher Farshore has made a fantastic contribution by printing the book in a lovely clear font with extra line spacing, which is so important for children who are dyslexic or have visual impairment as well as making the reading process more relaxing for children who are emerging as independent readers. I loved the hybrid blend of fiction and non-fiction, with fun-fact boxes inserted at key points in the story. This worked extremely well in a narrative based on STEM themes. There is a nice range of representation in the main human characters blended with an imaginative range of cute, funny and off-beat alien creations.

As someone with a scientific background myself, I loved the inclusion of the scientific method as an explicit plot point and I think that many Key Stage 2 teachers will appreciate the clarity with which this concept is explained in the story as it fits so perfectly with the primary science curriculum. The seamless blending of humour, science, intuition, loneliness and friendship make this an essential book to add to reading collections for all children of 7+; purchase your copy now.

“For the Universe!”

I am most grateful to Antonia Wilkinson PR and Farshore for sending me a review copy of Space Blasters – Suzie Saves the Universe in exchange for my honest opinion.

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