Review of The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza
by Mac Barnett; illus. by Shawn Harris
Primary, Intermediate    Tegen/HarperCollins    320 pp.   g
5/22    978-0-06-308408-7    $15.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-308410-0    $10.99

What began as an online storytelling experiment between Barnett and Harris during COVID-19 has been adapted into a graphic novel. This wacky space opera follows a crew of unlikely heroes on a mission to stop a horde of moon-eating rats. The cybernetically enhanced First Cat, along with a brave moon princess and friendly toenail-clipping robot, travel to the dark side of the moon, where they encounter a bloodthirsty baby pirate, a thieving team of disembodied hands, and a three-headed Rat King. The breakneck, stream-of-consciousness plot can be dizzying but never fails to be entertaining. Barnett’s fast-paced dialogue, pleasing non sequiturs, and humorous wordplay (“Oh my Uncle Tony’s hot calzoney”) are amplified by Harris’s impressive illustrations. An invitingly simple thick crayon-like line is employed throughout the comic, from its cartoony imagery to panel borders to lettering. The surprisingly earnest themes of friendship and individual purpose combined with the absurd humor should resonate with this audience.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.