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Zita the Spacegirl #1

Zita the Spacegirl

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Zita's life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don't even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita's quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.

186 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 2011

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About the author

Ben Hatke

48 books1,120 followers
Ben Hatke is an author and illustrator of graphic novels and picture books. Most notably he is the creator of the Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series.

He posts art and stories online at:


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,412 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 64 books233k followers
July 9, 2016
Gave this to my little boy, and he really liked it.

I'm fond of it too, (or I wouldn't have passed it along). Nice, light tone. Not full of senseless violence. Good female character. Fun fantastic elements.

My boy is 6 and some change. He reads at a pretty high level, but he tore through this, so I'm guessing it would be good for any kid of average reading level who is 5-6.

Profile Image for Calista.
4,059 reviews31.3k followers
August 5, 2018
Zita wins you over. She and a friend end up in another dimension and separated. Zita makes friends on this new world and she has to save the day.

I think the artwork is cute and colorful. The characters are interesting and mostly non-human. The story is sci-fy and fast paced. Zita is a fun new character and I will be reading more in the series. I see there are only 3 as of 2018. The creativity and imagination in this one is great. I am a Zita fan. First Second came through again. They are a great company.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,183 reviews247 followers
May 18, 2018
Reread 18 May 2018

Here we are almost 4 months after I first adored this graphic novel and I still haven’t read Legends of Zita the Spacegirl. What’s wrong with me?! (Please don’t answer that!) The bright side is that I decided to reread this one so I remembered where I left Zita and her friends.

I had so much fun during my reread. I appreciated and paid more attention to the details this time around, including the wonderful expressions on Zita’s face throughout the story. I loved her wide eyed OMG, the button worked! expression and giggled at the “BLRG!” horror of raising herself from the ground covered in giant snail slime.

Character wise, I had completely forgotten about dopey Jerry who joyfully declares the good news that “In three days an asteroid is gonna explode us all!” to attempt to fix Zita’s leaking eyes. The monster wearing the “The End is Nigh” sandwich board is wonderful. I adore all of the monsters featured with the chapter number signs although I’m quite partial to chapter two’s sod on legs with leaves on its back and bugs hanging out with it. I think I need a plush Strong-Strong to cuddle.

The illustrations are as engaging as they were when I first saw them. What surprised me during this read was how quickly I connected with each newly introduced character. Within a couple of panels I was all in, which is pretty impressive considering that there are entire novels where the author doesn’t manage to connect me to a single character. Overall I think I enjoyed the story even more the second time and would happily read it again.

Favourite Invention - Doorpaste, which would be useful in countless Looney Tunes cartoons.

Favourite Line - “My favourite food from the meat category is sugar.” (from the Early Zita Sketches page, not the story)

Original Review Posted 25 January 2018

Why have I never heard of this series before?! Have I been hiding under a meteoroid? This was so much fun!!!

When Zita and her friend Joseph find a hole in the earth that wasn’t there before, they have to check it out. There’s a meteoroid with something inside it. Something that has a red button. Of course Zita is going to press it! A portal appears and something grabs Joseph and pulls him through. After some mild freaking out Zita follows him through the portal into another world with a multitude of alien species. Or perhaps she’s the alien?

Zita witnesses Joseph being kidnapped and is determined to find him and return them both to Earth. Along the way she meets new friends including One, Mouse, Strong-Strong and Randy. Together they journey against the clock to find and save Joseph, for there’s a countdown happening in this world. There’s only three days left before an asteroid will destroy it!

This is one of those graphic novels that has few words but is big in story and scale. The illustrations of all of the new creatures Zita comes across are generally either cute, amusing or downright creepy. I love a ‘girl on an epic quest’ story and this one is action packed. I smiled throughout the story and can’t wait for the next instalment.

All of the copies at my local library are on loan so I have to wait to find out what happens next! I’ll do my best to not read any reviews of Legends of Zita the Spacegirl because I want to go into it the same way I did with this one - loving the cover and knowing nothing at all about the story.
Profile Image for Betsy.
Author 8 books2,823 followers
February 15, 2011
I run a bookgroup for kids between the ages of 9-13. Like a number of American children in the 21st century, these kids have an overwhelming palate for good graphic novels. I can hand them Robot Dreams or Ghostopolis or Rapunzel's Revenge, it doesn't matter. Whatever the title, they devour these books in less than an hour and come hounding me for more. The market simply doesn't exist to satiate their perpetual GN hunger. In fact, far fewer really worthwhile comics for kids come out than you might expect. For every The Secret Science Alliance there are twenty cheapo faux mangas ready to clutter up my library's shelves. Fortunately, if you look in the right places you're bound to find something new and interesting. Now there is nothing seemingly original about some of the aspects of Zita the Spacegirl. The storyline is familiar, the characters give you a sense of d��jà vu, and the art feels very Matt Phelan/Raina Telgemeier-esque. That said, what author/artist Ben Hatke does well is dip into a wellspring of familiar ideas to bring us a new world that truly is its own beast. Zita earns her stripes. Good thing too, since your kids will undoubtedly be clamoring for more of her adventures when they get their sticky paws on this first.

Here are some basic rules governing meteoroids. Should you happen to find one in a field and should it happen to contain a device with a big red button, do NOT press that button! It would have been useful for Zita to take that advice when she found the meteoroid and device with her friend Joseph. Needless to say, a button was pushed. After creating an inadvertent rift in space, Joseph is pulled through the hole by a set of furry tentacles. Zita, daunted but intrepid, follows. Her mission? To find Joseph, wherever he might be, and bring him home. Along the way she befriends a host of strange characters like One, the battle orb with self-esteem issues, and Mouse (real name Pizzicato) a large rodent who prefers to communicate with short printed notes. Along with a couple others, Zita sets out to fulfill her mission. What she may find, however, is that while she wins her temporary battles, she may end up losing the war.

Children's science fiction is only now attempting to slip into the shoes left by fantasy. The standard Alice in Wonderland / Wizard of Oz storyline where a girl finds herself in a new world and befriends strange creatures used to be the territory of your Wonderlands and Ozes. With the appearance of books like The Search for WondLa and Zita the Spacegirl, however, sci-fi now waltzes merrily in the same spheres. We've finally hit the point where girls can explore not just alternate worlds but alternate planets as well. I don't know quite what to make of this. It is interesting to note that like her predecessors Zita does want to find home but we don't know why. She never mentions her parents or friends. And after seeing all the cool friends and characters in space, what's the lure of Earth? Hopefully this is something that will be covered in other books in the series. Otherwise, Zita's ultimate goal is a little less than gripping.

Of course there are some pretty familiar looking figures in this book. Mouse is your large mammalian mode of transportation, like The Cowardly Lion or Iorek Byrnison. Strong Strong is your basically sweet but gigantic companion, like Ludo in Labyrinth. That leaves Piper as the character you don't know if you can trust (your Han Solo, if you will), Randy as the coward who is more than he seems, and so on. I'm being facetious, but the fact of the matter is that while none of these characters are particularly new in terms of the storytelling, it doesn't really matter. Sure they're rote, but they're reliable. There's a reason so many storytellers like to use them in their books. And while I have seen them appear in lots of works of fiction and film, I've never seen them in a graphic novel for kids before. Not really. The Amulet books are a little too much like the Bone series when it comes to companions, and Jellaby includes only one lovable monster. I do get a lot of kids asking me to recommend books just like those, though. For them, Zita the Spacegirl is a kind of answer to a prayer. Even if the friendships are different, the exciting tone stays the same.

Ben Hatke has a style that at first reminded me of Raina Telgemeier more than any other graphic artist working today. It's something about how he draws Zita. Telgemeier is behind books like the graphic adaptations of The Baby-Sitters Club or Smile. Then I thought a little bit more about it and felt that Hatke's book felt a lot like the style of Matt Phelan, particularly when it came out his graphic novel The Storm in the Barn. Yet here the comparisons stop. In spite of the supernatural element to Phelan's tale, both artists keep well within the realm of the realistic. Hatke, in contrast, has a penchant for combining the cute with the weird. He'll throw in a realistic creature like Mouse (a Beatrix Potter influence, perhaps?) alongside Zita and her sometime manga-esque expressions. Throw in adorable critters along the lines of Walt Kelly (or, more recently, Jeff Smith) and you've got yourself a Zita. His landscapes are also worth noting, making good use of claustrophobic city dwellings as well as vast junkyards and sweeping vistas. I was particularly taken with how nicely he breaks up the action. Hatke isn't afraid to include wordless sequences to set the pace, or to switch up the panel size and jump cuts when we're in an action scene. Sometimes I did have a bit of a hard time following one fast-paced moment to the next (Zita gets on an elevator in one scene so quickly that I had a hard time figuring out where she was without the normal visual clues). But generally it works to the book's advantage.

Yup. It's fun. Fun is good. With any luck there will be more in the series too, so those of you who live in fear that the books will just end without reaching their natural conclusion will have to hope that Hatke will not leave you disappointed (I watched too many episodes of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon as a kid so I know that particular brand of disappointment). Still, if you have to take it on its own, Zita makes a pretty good series title on its own. This is definitely something you can hand to your kids, boys and girls alike, secure in the knowledge that they'll take a lot of enjoyment out of the experience. A sweet tale.

For ages 8-12.
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
557 reviews140 followers
April 25, 2021
We've been reading a lot of Ben Hatke books over here. It was fun to see where it all started. The art isn't quite as good as later books (Mighty Jack and the Goblin King has amazing illustrations) but there's the heart and imagination here that we love and appreciate. My kid wanted to read the next one right away.
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano Martín.
440 reviews5,545 followers
September 8, 2018
Conocer a Zita y a sus amigos ha sido tan bonito... ojalá sigan publicando las siguientes partes ^^
Zita acaba en un lejano lugar del espacio después de haber encontrado un aparato que les ha transportado a ella y a su mejor amigo allí. Pero su amigo es raptado por unos raros seres y Zita comienza una gran aventura en su búsqueda para después poder volver a casa.
La verdad es que ha sido un cómic que se lee muy rápido, el dibujo me ha parecido muy bonito y lo veo genial para los lectores más jóvenes que tienen ganas de empezar a leer este tipo de novelas. Yo diría que a partir de 8 añitos puede gustar mogollón.
Me ha gustado mucho y he cogido mucho cariño a todos los personajes que aparecen. Así que si os apetece pasar un rato muy agradable, os lo recomiendo muchísimo :)
Profile Image for Sesana.
5,324 reviews343 followers
July 11, 2014
When it comes to originality, Zita is playing in the shallow end of the pool. Nearly every element, from basic premise (girl whisked to far away and strange land) to character (giant animal companion) has been seen somewhere else before. Even the art feels familiar, strongly reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. There are far worse artists to call to mind, and far worse inspiration sources.

What makes this book so darn entertaining is the execution, which is nearly flawless. And that's fine with me. I don't need originality in a graphic novel, though that can be nice. I need something I enjoy reading. And Zita, both the book and the character, are so charming that I couldn't help but love them. And as happy as I was to read it, I imagine the target audience will only love it more.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,737 reviews5,275 followers
December 21, 2018
Zita the Spacegirl is a middle-grade science fiction graphic novel series following Zita, a little girl who is accidentally sucked through a portal to another world and must rescue her friend before she can go home. She teams up with a mysterious inventor and a large, sentient mouse, as well as a few robots and aliens along the way.

That was one of the cutest things I have ever read in my life. The artwork is gorgeous, the storyline is fun and quick-paced, and the side characters are an absolute delight. My favorite was Mouse, but Strong-Strong was a close second. Honestly, they're all hilarious and sweet and I cannot wait to continue this series and spend more time with these little oddballs.
Profile Image for Erica.
1,339 reviews442 followers
March 13, 2017
Zita was one of the doors that helped to open the current girl power middle grade comics written by dads for their daughters movement.
Maybe it's not a movement, but it's definitely a thing.
But before Target Practice, which I loved, and Princeless #1, which I did not, there was Zita.

Here's the thing about Zita: She's brash. She's also a bit bossy. She's good at making friends. She's a leader. And she's a troublemaker. There are consequences for this girl who prefers to shoot first and ask questions later (not literally, she's not violent, not usually) and because she has a healthy enough dose of guilt, she wants to make amends for her mistakes. She's responsible and, yet, she's also just a kid.
That's not rare to see in female characters but it may be less common to see in comics of girls written by guys and aimed at the 8-12 set.

In this case, Zita struggles with getting her BFF sent off across universes as some sort of terrible sacrifice and having to follow in order to get him out of the predicament she put him in. She's got a happy, can-do disposition which wins her plenty of admirers and, of course, she gets the job done, though not always in the most upstanding fashion.

She's a fun, spunky character. She is probably white but could be Hispanic or possibly Asian so there's room for many kids to see themselves physically represented in her. I don't think that was the intent but it's there, nonetheless.
The story is fast-paced, there's plenty of action and, better, adorable pictures of strange little creatures.
I recommend this to fans of the aforementioned graphic novels as well as those who enjoyed Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,867 reviews5,032 followers
July 30, 2013

When Zita accidentally-but-culpably sends her best friend to another planet, she girls up and rushes off to rescue him.

Super-cute! Almost too cute. And most of the elements aren't all that original. But somehow, still awesome!
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,064 reviews1,907 followers
August 28, 2015
Zita and Joseph are playing in a field when they see a big crater and find a red button. Zita pushes the button, and she and Joseph are sucked into a portal that takes them to a galaxy far, far away. Joseph is kidnapped by a screed

The dangerous, agile, and enigmatic Screed have no existing home world and a very limited social hierarchy. Individual Screed tend to wander the universe working as bounty hunters and mercenaries.

Seldom seen without an environmental suit, very little is known about Screed physiology.

Further study is called for in this most perilous field.

Zita goes on a quest to save her friend. Along the way she makes friends with a devious piper, a gigantic mouse that she rides like a horse (SO CUTE OMG), a military weaponized Orb named One, and a junk robot named Randy.

The planet's going to be destroyed by an asteroid in three days. Can Zita save Joseph in time?

Cute, funny and with great illustrations, this is a must for any child's library. And bonus points for a realistic and brave female heroine.

Not available in Spanish.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,503 reviews614 followers
December 6, 2018
Zita and her friend Joseph find a meteorite resting in the crater created from its impact with earth. There is a device with a red button and Zita pushes it despite Joseph's warning to leave it as is. Thoom! Joseph is abducted and Zita is determined to go rescue him from another planet. Her greatest wish is to return home and one of her companions is a metal robot that needs oiling -- that sounds familiar. This book is well done and should appeal to our space-loving readers in grades 3-5.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,345 reviews411 followers
June 7, 2020
Zita and a friend find a strange object in a meteor crater, and her friend is dragged through a portal; feeling guilty, Zita reopens the portal and jumps through, finding herself in a strange new world, where she is the oddity. Zita is a loyal and courageous friend, rescuing the downtrodden and assembling friends to help her launch an assault on the castle where her friend is being held, supposedly wielding the power to divert an asteroid strike on her new world. Along with Piper and her friends (One, Strong Strong, etc.), Zita and friends save the day, but in doing so, jeopardize her return home to Earth. More adventures to follow. 3.5 stars. Note: This was the first e-book form graphic novel where each panel was converted to screen size, which I liked.
Profile Image for Yoda.
574 reviews112 followers
October 4, 2019
Elska å lese den med lillesøstra mi! Fantastisk bok, morsom og veldig bra illustrert. Perfekt for 8år og oppover.
Profile Image for Jano.
685 reviews404 followers
September 28, 2018
Reseña completa: http://elcaosliterario.blogspot.com/2...

Zita es la protagonista de esta historia y su cometido será recorrer el espacio para salvar a su mejor amigo. Es una novela gráfica dirigida, especialmente, para niñas y niños de 8 y 12 años, pero no resulta excesivamente infantil y tiene valores muy interesantes para todos los públicos.

La historia está muy bien escrita para el público al que está dirigida y el balance entre ilustraciones y diálogo está muy equilibrado. Este autor expresa muy bien lo que quiere con ilustraciones sin necesidad de recurrir a grandes diálogos.

El inicio atrapa bastante rápido al lector y eso es justo lo que se necesita en una novela gráfica dirigida a los más pequeños. El autor tiene buenos jueces en su casa para tantear sus novelas ya que es padre de 4 hijos.

Me ha gustado mucho que el autor haya pensando en una protagonista femenina y fuerte que debe salvar a su amigo y que no haya sido al revés. Aunque pueda parecer algo que carezca de importancia, es un valor bastante importante para los más pequeños.

En resumen: una muy buena opción para regalar a una niña o niño a los que les gusten los cómics y dibujos de acción porque se lo pasarán muy bien con esta protagonista y sus aventuras en el espacio. Unas ilustraciones muy bien cuidadas, una historia fácil de entender y mucha diversión.
Profile Image for Raina.
1,604 reviews128 followers
November 4, 2011
Holy crap, I love this book. In the spirit of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Zita is transported to an extremely foreign world and embarks on an epic journey, picking up wildly diverse companions along the way. Backs are stabbed, redemption is gained, creepy encounters are triumphed over, and a tonne of wacky characters are met.

On first glance, I expected this to be a pretty vanilla and tame fluffy kids comic book, but there is darkness here. There's a particularly freaky scene which borrows much from The Matrix and many of the creatures are darker than they appear at first.

Of particular note is the variety of species on this alien world. We meet giant mice, tiny blue gingerbread-men-like organisms, giant hooded chickens, and your requisite sludge monster. All of this and more is rendered in awesome full color. Another adorable feature is that each chapter is announced with a signpost held by one of the tiny (and, therefore, automatically cute) creatures featured in that chapter.

I loved that, unlike Dorothy, Zita is proactive and brave about taking responsibility for her actions. She pushes the button that gets her friend kidnapped. I think it's awesome that Hatke includes that doublesided page (11/12) in ominous green of her going back into the woods, taking a moment to freak out, and then making the conscious decision to go back and save her friend. It isn't an impulse. She knows it's a huge risk. And she decides to do it. Just gorgeous wordless storytelling.

Yup, the more I think about it, the more I love this book. I may need to own it.
Profile Image for Seth T..
Author 4 books872 followers
January 29, 2013
Zita the Spacegirl

Recently, it's come to my attention that maybe I'm not really a fan of science fiction. I may not even be a fan of adventure. I've found that the idea of a science fiction world isn't enough to spark my interest. A world populated by robots? A dystopian future of genetic manipulation? Star-spanning empires and the rebels that seek their liberation from those empires? I always have a sense of been there and done that. The ideas just don't excite me like they once may have—I presume that decades ago, when I self-identified as a sci-fi fan, these things genuinely did excite me. When I hear of a new Battlestar Galactica, I can't be bothered to care any more than I would for the news that there was a new Civil War show coming out this Fall. Even though I loved the original BSG as a kid. And the same goes for adventures. The idea of watching a hero overcome great odds to save the princess, the town, the nation, or the world is a tired device. Used and reused.

Still, even a cursory glance at my Top 100 Comics list will reveal numerous books from both genres entrenched even as far up as my Top 10, so clearly my lack of adoration for the genres isn't the end of the story. Not being a fan doesn't mean I actively dislike the genres; it just means they have to offer something special in addition. Really, it just means they have to sell the kinds of things I love in other stories. I'm currently reading Jeff Smith's Bone to our three-year-old daughter (her favourite characters are Kingdok and the rat creatures, whom I've given Muscovite accents). What's been pronounced in this reading (moreso I think than in prior excursions into Smith's Valley) is both the depth of atmosphere and the breadth of characterization. Smith invests the book with fantastic character moments that speak not merely to the state of his heroes and villains but to the nature of the human person itself. This focus elevates the work beyond a mere exercise of plot and device to a height most fantasy adventures never even bother seeking to reach. It's why Bone is one of my favourites despite its grounding in the fantasy and adventure genres.

This is also why I appreciated Zita the Spacegirl so much as I did. The book, while solidly aimed at adventure-loving youngsters,1 is filled with the kinds of character moments that will make it sing to even the parents of those youthful, single-minded readers.

Zita the Spacegirl (and its follow-up, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl) ostensibly relates the adventures of a reluctant hero, Zita, a girl sucked from our end of the galaxy to another end of another galaxy. It's Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey—only instead of two dogs and a cat, it's just a lone lost girl who becomes something bigger than she is. While that description may be enough to sell the story to any number of my friends, I'm curmudgeonly enough to require more bang for my buck. It's not enough for me to know that Ben Hatke has written books that my daughter will want to hear read over and over, but it does say something special to know that these are books I'd actually enjoy reading to her over and over.

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

Hatke pours a lot of love and care into his creation. Not only is he conscious of the need for his characters to boast winning personalities, but his creative spirit is well evident in the vast array of amusing alien creatures that rain all over Zita's parade to greatness. I found myself dwelling on panels longer than I might usually be given to do—especially treasures like this:

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

[Seriously. Aren't these things the most adorable little squirts.]

Where Zita shines is where books like the later Crogan Adventures shine: in its complexity of human relations.2 It feels sometimes as if Hatke takes lessons from Miyazaki and Ghibli's school of characterization, as even Zita's antagonizers are portrayed in sympathetic terms. They are not bad guys for the sake of being bad. They are, to quote twentieth-century American philosopher Curly Howard, victims of coicumstance. Sometimes they labour under false beliefs, sometimes they operate by the dictates and limitations of their insular cultures.3 All this works toward making Hatke's books a more readable, believable world.

At present, there are two Zita books in print. While the former is quite enjoyable and introduces most of the principal characters (as well as what may be the Series Dilemma), the latest release Legends of Zita the Spacegirl is the better of the two. The character having been introduced already, Hatke's allowed to explore Zita and her new family of friends a little more closely. And while Zita experienced some growth in the first volume, it was mostly due circumstance. One of those people-having-greatness-thrust-upon-them sorts of things. In Legends, Zita is able to grow by observing the better, more courageous, more compassionate acts of others. It's a more natural accomplishment and so ends up meaning more.

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

A couple months ago in my review of Josh Tierney's Spera , I mentioned that I was on the lookout for books that I'd soon be able to pour out upon my young daughter. I said:

I’ll be looking for books that don't portray femaleness as an indictment, a weakness, or a reason to be victimized. And honestly, apart from a handful of books, I can't immediately think of much that fits the bill.

Whatever indictment that is on much of the comics industry as it currently stands, I'm happy to say that among that handful of books (which includes Hildafolk and Bone and Nausicaä and Spera), Ben Hatke's Zita series will find a place in my heart and on my shelf. I'm excited to see where he takes these characters. Whether they adventure to get there or not.

Zita the Spacegirl

1) I'm not certain but almost-certain that the Zita series is primarily aimed at young readers. There's nothing I've seen on the jacket or indicia that would indicate Young Readers (or even Young Adult readers) but the book boasts that all-ages kind of sensibility that's common to the taxonomy.

2) I was tempted to just leave it at "personal relations" as most of the interactions are with aliens, but Hatke's aliens are really probably more just humans in weird shapes.

3) With this in mind, it wouldn't be difficult to read into the Zita books some sort of veiled critique of the American people. Though I doubt that's within the realm of Hatke's intentions here.

[Review courtest of Good Ok Bad.]
683 reviews80 followers
April 24, 2022
Eestikeelne graaffiline romaan!!!!!
Lõpuks ometi on lastele midagi anda peale seda kui nad on Amuleti lõpetanud või just nendele, kelle jaoks Amulett veel liialt keeruline.
Juba esimesed leheküljed tõmbasid mõnusalt naerma ning seejärel haarati tempokasse seiklusesse, kus niiii toredad kaaslased, et tahaks neid kõiki oma koduloomadeks.

Must read raamaat!!!
Profile Image for Timothy Ward.
Author 14 books121 followers
July 29, 2014
Reviewed with pictures at Adventures in SciFi Publishing

Graphic Novels have found a way into my pile of books through their simplicity and ease on the eyes. Most people can relate to the young desire for books with pictures. Ben’s art for the Zita the Spacegirl books does a fantastic job of combining action, humor and worldbuilding. The story begins with Zita and a friend discovering a device in a crater that zaps them into another world far away. When they get there, Zita is separated from her friend, meets some new ones and must find a way to escape before that planet is destroyed by a meteor.

The recommended reading age for this book is said to be 8-12 years old, but I enjoyed reading it to my 6 month old. I enjoyed making up accents for the characters–my favorite was the robot drone who has a bit of a temper, whom I had so much fun making sound like a riled up Mexican Conquistador. There is an upset slave owner I made sound like he was from the old South.

There were many more, from a couple dufuses in a big cuddly animal that says “Strong Strong” and helps carry Zita to safety and a robot that is a bit of a coward, but had some laugh out loud dialogue. She meets a giant mouse that squeaks but also has a transcriber of his thoughts that prints them out in pictures from a chain around his neck. Some of those made me laugh as well.

The drawings of characters are clean and imaginative, but my favorite aspect of the art was the pictures of the world. This planet has a rich history, as seen in the underground path she takes and in the castles.

I may not be the ideal age range for this book, but the artistry and dialogue helped keep me entertained. I imagine the 8-12 year old range will love the story and all elements combined. Even my 6 month old was captivated by the pictures and dialogue my wife and I took turns vocalizing. As to the story, I was pleasantly surprised with the twists and enjoyed the climax, though again I’m not the ideal reader age, so it wasn’t too complicated. The art was fantastic, though, and fit this story’s tone perfectly.
Profile Image for Hilda.
1,108 reviews143 followers
May 19, 2020
There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk around the whole world till we come back to the same place.

This story follows Zita who after finding a device accidentally transports her friend Joseph to another world. What is a girl to do? She follows him of course. She is the saving type after all and Joseph is her friend. I loved Zita from page one. I know all of you will too!

You know who else is going to love her? My third graders!! I finally have the complete set of Zita the Spacegirl and Mighty Jack that combine in Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl. Two series who combine into one. I love this so much. I read Mighty Jack and Mighty Jack and the Goblin King to my third graders this year and they loved it. I can't wait to read them the whole series next year!

Zita was giving me hard Wizard of Oz feels but I guess any story that transfers a girl to another world will do that. I loved the friends she made along the way. Pied Piper, Mouse, Strong-Strong, One, Randy and Joseph were all great characters. The fighting and questing was pretty great too!

Zita and the crew!
Profile Image for Ellen.
174 reviews17 followers
February 23, 2012
I'm on the Great Stone Face Committee in New Hampshire, and this book is on our current possible nominee list (shh, don't tell). We had a very heated argument as to how to judge the writing in a graphic novel, because it obviously has less text than a full length novel. I fully believe that graphic novels can tell just as powerful of a story as any other form of novel, and I tried to argue that with someone who clearly doesn't care for graphic novels, so it was basically like me talking to a very disgruntled wall.

Let me make my point clear here. Though it takes less time to read, this book (and graphic novels in general) are just as valid of a form of reading as other books. I'd rather children read books like The Amulet, Bone, Binky the Spacecat, Zita the Spacegirl, and many more instead of Spongebob, Barbie, and Junie B. Jones. I think linking text to pictures, and how both of them combine to tell a story helps children (and teens, and adults) understand the concept of "story" much better. Look at Stitches, Persepolis, Blankets, Fun Home, and many more graphic novel memoirs. Are these any less powerful stories because they come with illustrations? I. Don't. Think. So.

Zita was fun, and serious, and spacetastic. I think for the short amount of time I had with this book I got to know and love the characters a lot better than in many a novel, thankyouverymuch. I'd hand this out to boys and girls without question, and maybe even some teens and adults. It's definitely on my favorites list now.

Also, I think I want to be Zita when I grow up.
Profile Image for Emily.
833 reviews86 followers
May 5, 2015
LPLD 5th booktalk science fiction
Let’s pretend something for a minute. I want to get you in the mindset of this book, really there.
You’re running through a field, being chased by your best friend. Suddenly, you come upon a giant hole. A crater. And there’s something smoking down in the center of it. It looks like a meteoroid but you’re not sure. And it looks like something’s poking out of it.
Your best friend suggests you guys go report what you’ve found to someone. You laugh, and ask WHO? You’re down in the center of the hole, and you pull something out from the center of the meteoroid. Climbing out of the crater, you see that on that something is a big, red button.
You want to push it. Your best friend tells you not to push it. Screams at you not to push the button.
Raise your hand if you push the button.
{if majority does not raise their hands}: Well, then I’ve chosen my book choices poorly, and should not be talking this book. You wouldn’t like it anyway.
{if majority raises their hands}: Nothing happens for a few moments. Your friend laughs, nervously. You wonder why he was so worried in the first place. Then something explodes out of the center of the meteorite, and thick black arms, three or maybe four of them, you can’t quite tell, grab your best friend, and as he screams for you to help him, sucks him into a pool of bright light which, just as suddenly as it appears, vanishes with a quiet “HELP!” as your friend is gone.
What do you do next?
Profile Image for Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines).
349 reviews200 followers
April 11, 2014
I'll admit that my first impression of Zita the Spacegirl was that it looked a little too young and cutesy for me. It arrived courtesy of a publicist who has recently provided me with some really amazing stories. I've come to learn that when she says something is good, I better read it. So I dove right in and found myself enjoying this a lot more than I expected.

The story follows a girl named Zita whose friend is abducted when she unknowingly opens a gateway into another world. Using a device first discovered at the bottom of a large crater, Zita reopens the portal and jumps in. What she finds is a planet inhabited by alien creatures of all shapes and sizes, some unintelligible and some that she is able to understand.

Zita quickly realizes that not only has she stumbled onto a foreign planet with no idea of how to rescue her friend, but also that the planet is in danger and most are trying to find their way off world.

The characters in this story vary in species and personality and were all enjoyable. I thought Zita was a spunky, courageous little heroine and she easily made friends everywhere she went.

Zita the Spacegirl is lighter than what I'm used to and unlike 99% of the stories I read, this could easily be enjoyed by a much younger audience. The art is very basic but this simple style seems to fit the story just fine. Overall I thought this was a fun read and I'm looking forward to starting Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books318 followers
May 8, 2016
My son spotted this book at the library when he was three or just four, and we were NOT allowed to come home without it. Just based on the cover, he had to have it. And once we read it with him, we knew he'd been right. This is one of the most wonderful girl superhero books of all times, and Zita doesn't even have any superpowers! What she does have, though, is determination, and a knack for making friends, even when stranded on a strange alien planet that's about to be destroyed by a comet, and her best friend has been kidnapped. It doesn't matter what happens; she is going to get him back.

I could wax rhapsodic about Zita for quite a while, but if I had to pick one favorite part... it would be the giant stompy boots. You should see what I mean. Stop by and read ours, if you want. We had to buy the first book because we'd read the one from the library so many times. And then kiddo played pretend games of Zita. And made his Grandma color and cut out "portal buttons" so he could play more games. Then he realized he could wear his green blanket as a Zita cape. So don't be surprised if you have to buy one as well.
Profile Image for Krista Kimball.
267 reviews5 followers
June 8, 2017
I bought this book and the second for my niece for her birthday. And then promptly begged to borrow them. A little over a month later she finally let me borrow the first one. It has been carried around and enjoyed and that makes me happy.

What makes me even happier is that it is a good story. Possibly a little cliche but for an 8 year old just starting her venture into reading it isn't cliche at all. Instead it is a simple story about adventure and friendship. The art is captivating and the creatures imaginative.

I'm hoping she lets me talk about the book with her. And then I'm hoping she lets me borrow the second one.
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,449 reviews473 followers
July 16, 2014
Zita accidentally sends her best friend off to some distant part of the universe, and of course she has to go rescue him. To my amusement, he is The Chosen One of a prophecy, and we get to watch as it plays out, coming true...sort of.

Adventure, cleverness, and an extensive cast of aliens who would appear at a Monsters Inc casting call.

Thank you to everyone who insisted I needed to read this. You were right. And I totally want to be Zita for Halloween. With a giant mouse.

Library copy
Profile Image for John.
Author 4 books1,653 followers
February 11, 2011
I love sharing books. Obviously. However, certain books create a blazing fire inside my mouth. Words bounce out at record speed. Some students wonder if they will witness spontaneous human combustion. Should they fetch the nurse? Eventually, they realize it is just Mr. Schu ranting about the next BEST BOOK. How does it affect circulation, you ask? The book will have a waiting list--guaranteed. Thank you, Ben Hatke, for getting me fired up about Zita the Spacegirl.
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