I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.
“The book that you’re holding in your hands right this second is different from any other book you’ve ever held before.” –From The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs!
It’s true. How many books have you read where a duck informs you that you’re a recruit for a top-secret recon mission in search of slimy space slugs? And you have to write in it in order to get through the book? See? It’s true. I’ve never held a book like that in my hands and my son, until recently, certainly had not.
My son started begging for us to sit down and read it the moment he came home from school and saw it sitting on the dining room table. When I told him we’d have to wait because it’s a book you write in, it just made him all the more interested in it and the onslaught of questions began. He couldn’t believe it. I was going to let him write in this beautiful hard-bound book. Could he use a pen or a marker? Could he use one of my nice pens? “Mom, you’re not even looking! THIS book, I can write in it? Are you sure?” I recommended a pencil, just in case he wanted to erase something or change something later. He acquiesced — and then later when it was time, we sat down together and I was amazed watching him get to work so willingly.
To get to the punchline: The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs! is fabulous! It is engaging, fun, hilarious, and completely perfect in so many ways. We need a lot more books like this. It’s like it is sprayed with Reluctant-Reader-and-Writer-Be-Gone. I’ve never seen my son so utterly eager to sit down and write. He will sit down with the Star Wars workbooks that I bought for him, but it is more of an Okay-sure-I’ll-do-that-mom attitude whereas The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs! is a I-want-to-do-this-immediately! attitude.
Watching him dive so enthusiastically into writing and drawing is a delight. He hates to write, but he will draw — and this book has an excellent balance of both writing and drawing that gently guides the reader so that it feels natural and important. With homework, my son complains that having to write is boring and pointless — but when you’re a top agent out to retrieve a missing top secret jar from slimy space slugs — well then, clearly writing is neither pointless nor boring.
Because this book has a great point — you’re creating a story about one of the most interesting people ever, yourself — it is easy and interesting. It’s fun, laugh-out-belly-laugh funny, and also has great sense of urgency to the story line — so you’re compelled to move through the book at quite a clip. We finished it in about ninety minutes. The story is always interesting and gives the participant a lot of flexibility so they can be as elaborate or as minimalist as they desire. It’s empowering not only to see yourself as the hero but to create and have control of the actual story.
Here’s how it works: You open the book to find a rather stressed-out duck wearing glasses and a tie telling you that you need to hurry because there’s no time — we need to get to work on THE mission. What mission? Well, too bad you don’t know because it looks like whether or not you want to — you’re going on THE mission.
After doing some paperwork and answering such questions as your favorite candy, desired superpower, your least favorite food, and requesting your super secret agent name — Carl the duck takes you (powered by your doodles) to the Secret Headquarters of the Doodle Adventure Society. At the DA’s headquarters he briefs you about other members (like Marcia Priddy — the first person to fly around the world in a hot air baboon to Sally the Narwhal — the unicorn of the sea.) You get to tour their collection of weird things when you learn that Captain Sleezoog has stolen a top secret jar that MUST be retrieved pronto. You prepare for your flight to the planet K-82. Daring adventure and a happy, fun, and wonderfully-silly ending ensues and everyone has a great time.
The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs! is recommended for ages 8 and above. My eldest is almost six, so it is slightly too old for him to do by himself — but we had a great time sitting down and going through it together. He did a lot of the reading himself. The cartoon and panel format makes it less intimidating to read than most standard narrative books and the friendly, attainable illustrations make it feel like his artistic skill level was welcomed. We’re big fans of Mike Lowery’s illustrations. From What Can A Crane Pick Up? to Dr. Proctor’s Fart Powder — his illustrations always make us smile. It’s fantastic to get to see him get to write his own book and create the story and illustrations. I look forward to seeing what else he comes up with. He’s so creative I’m sure even his grocery list is funny and well-designed.
We’ve read through The Slimy Space Slugs! many times and each time we do my son will erase something and redraw it or add something to one of his drawings. So, it’s a fun book to read and rewrite and redraw over and over again on many levels.
What a win! As a parent it is thrilling to watch my son be so excited about writing and reading; and as a person who loves books, this book made me laugh hard and often. Get it! It’s the best.
Recommended Ages 8 to 11. Workman Publishing Company. May 2016. 112 pages. ISBN: 978-0761187196. Fiction.
Where to Get it:
Author and Illustrator Websites:
- Author and Illustrator: Mike Lowery
More Reviews of The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs!
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”