by Jaye Seymour
illustrated by Alma Borrego Martinez
Age 7 to 9 122 pages
“Help! Great Uncle Raymond and his pet fire newt, Flamer, have been kidnapped by te smelliest space pirates in the universe. It’s up to Jake and his granny to rescue them, with a little help along the way from some burping green aliens. But first they’ll need to make it through the spaceship-crunching meteor shower in one piece . . . Will the contents of Moon Granny’s favorite red handbag be enough to defeat Blackbeard and his beastly buccaneers? Or will she and Jake be forced to walk the plank…in space? Hold your noses and burp along with Jake and Moon Granny on their stinky, star-crossing adventure. But whatever you do, don’t press the red button! Or was it the yellow one?!”
“Jake’s grandmother lived a LONG way away.”
Bloodthirsty Blackbeard the Bad and his Beastly Buccaneers (pirates) kidnapped Jake’s Great Uncle Raymond. Granny stops by to see Jake and then takes him along in her quest to save her brother. Jake pilots Granny’s spaceship for the first time. In a panic, Jake presses the don’t-ever-touch-under-any-circumstances red button, sending them zooming into space. They finally spot Blackbeard’s bullet shaped spaceship and must somehow get Uncle Raymond and his pet fire newt off the ship. Will they call police or find their own way of rescuing Raymond?
Space Pirate Panic contains the meanest, smelliest pirates in space, a granny who is in charge of alien relations, dust control, and cheese tasting on the moon where she lives. Then there is Jake, age unknown, who wishes he had a “normal” grandmother; one that showed up to school functions, knitted him awful sweaters, hands out pocket money, and he could visit every weekend. Until his granny shows up . . . then he realizes he likes his granny just the way she is. I like that beginning. Jake wants a normal life in comparison to other kids, until he realizes—with granny’s visit—that he has the best grandmother.
The action—and humor—are non-stop once Jake sets off in granny’s spaceship. Jake does get one of his wishes when Swish, the family cat, takes off with Jake’s green space gloves. Granny knits Jake new gloves on the way to Zabalon. Jake pushes a button Granny has just told him not to push, the trip to the Zabalon King goes smoothly, they spot Blackbeard’s ship and . . . well, there is no climatic moment. While there is a struggle, it is rather tame and ends too conveniently. The best part of the ending is the twist, but that is easy to figure out early in Uncle Raymond’s rescue.
I liked Space Pirate Panic but hope in the next book things do not resolve so easily—and quickly—for Jake and Granny. I’d like to know Jake’s age. Maybe things occurring so smoothly was appropriate for his age group. In any case, Space Pirate Panic is loaded with action, the adventure is interesting, the enemy is humorous, and Uncle Raymond can cause trouble, making me think Blackbeard kidnaped Uncle Raymond because of more than a desire for one million moon dollars. It is odd to think an old woman flying a not-top-of-the-line spaceship would have one million moon dollars for a ransom. Then again, the kidnappers are space pirates and dirty ones at that. I can’t wait to read the next book in this unusual space adventure. Kids age 7 to 9 will enjoy Jake & Moon Granny: Space Pirate Panic! This is also a great book for Hi-Low readers.
JAKE & MOON GRANNY: SPACE PIRATE PANIC! Text copyright © 2013 by Jaye Seymour. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Alma Borrego Martinez. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Jaye Seymour.
Learn more about Jake & Moon Granny: Space Pirate Panic HERE.
Meet the illustrator, Alma Borrego Martinez, at her website: