Review: Space Blasters ~Suzie and the Moon Bugs by Katie and Kevin Tsang, illustrated by Amy Nguyen

Book cover image by Amy Nguyen, background image copyright free from NASA, book publisher Farshore Books, 05 January 2023

Hold on to your space helmets, Suzie Wen is back for a second action-packed adventure! With foil detailing on the cover, cutely expressive illustrations by Amy Nguyen throughout and fast-paced action, this is the perfect book to encourage 6-8 year olds to read for pleasure.

Although it is the second book in the series, Suzie and the Moon Bugs can easily be read as a standalone thanks to the succinct summary of the backstory provided in chapter one. Readers are plunged straight into the inter-galactic action when TUBS (The Universe’s Best Spaceship) with the Space Blasters crew aboard is forced to crash land on Planet Zorg due to unexplained total systems failure! After hastily evacuating their damaged spaceship Captain Jane, Spaceman Jack, Suzie, Three-headed Tommy and Five-eyed Frank encounter fast growing purple grass and the unsettling replicators as they explore their new surroundings. Thanks to their pre-existing knowledge of the galaxy, the crew realise that they must seek out the knowledge worms who reside in the tunnels deep below the planet’s surface to find out how to repair TUBS. It falls to Suzie and Five-eyed Frank to resume their adventurous partnership, which is nicely balanced between friendly-rivalry and increasing mutual respect, as they venture into the dark tunnels to request assistance from the knowledge worms. The plot includes themes of never being embarrassed to ask questions and admitting and apologising for mistakes which are not dogmatic but enmeshed naturally in the quest.

Katie and Kevin Tsang have written a wonderfully engaging story in which the narrative speeds along at a cracking pace, whilst serving up fascinating science facts and gentle dollops of kind wisdom. The book is perfectly designed for young readers who are building their confidence in independent reading, with short chapters, a clear and large font and plenty of illustrations to break the text into manageable chunks. I highly recommend Suzie and the Moon Bugs as well as the first in the Space Blasters series, Suzie Saves the Universe, as a fantastic choice to offer all readers of 6+. I loved the addition of a new crew member at the end and am looking forward to the next mission, Suzie and the Comet of Chaos!

I am grateful to Farshore Books for sending me a copy of this book in advance of publication on 05 January 2023, in exchange for. my honest opinion.


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