cover image Rufus Blasts Off!

Rufus Blasts Off!

Kim T. Griswell, illus. by Valeri Gorbachev. Sterling, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4549-2099-1

Having fallen in with pirates in Rufus Goes to Sea!, book-loving pig Rufus seeks extraterrestrial adventures in his third outing. Griswell sticks to the rough script she used in the previous books: this time, instead of being denied a place in school or on a pirate ship because he’s a pig, Rufus can’t join a mission to Mars. But his ability to read eventually earns him a seat on the ship after a mission specialist falls ill; Rufus shares a story with all of Earth after he arrives on the Red Planet. Gorbachev’s scrappy ink-and-watercolor illustrations match the story’s sense of out-of-this-world fun, especially when Commander Luna is running down all the reasons pigs don’t belong in space: “They do loop-the-loops in the crew cabin.... And they always want to push the buttons.” Rufus’s fans should be tickled, but the plot retread may not win him many new ones. Ages 3–up. (Sept.)