A Tuesday Ten: Food in Spaaace!
Posted by Stephanie Whelan
I got this idea from attending the latest Simon & Schuster preview. (First title on the list is an up and coming publication) It got me thinking that there were a number of books dealing with food and outer space. So here’s my ten for the list. It’s a rather odd topic, so one or two play a little with the theme, but they all ultimately fit!
Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe’s Weiner Getaway by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire (Aladdin, Expected Publication May 2015)
I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Max Brallier at last week’s publisher preview where he introduced us to to Cosmoe and his adventures. Space opera and food combine to produce a work of hilarity, hot dogs and heroes. I can’t wait to read this one! Max’s presentation got me thinking about the fact that there were other books featuring food delivery in space . . . and thus this list was born.
Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (Feiwel & Friends, 2014)
Luno is finally getting a chance to do more than hang out in the kitchens of the family business–finally he is being allowed to take on the task of delivery boy–a risky business in this universe of wild and wacky planets, rival pizza companies and a mysterious golden anchovy . . . Dan Yaccarino delivers science fiction that’s hysterical over-the-top adventure! But this wasn’t the only Science fictional pizza delivery book from last year . . .
The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza by James Kochalka (First Second, 2014)
If you like your humor broad and enjoy gross-out level jokes, then this might be the graphic novel space adventure for you. It seems our not very bright protagonist is on a mission to deliver a pizza, along with the help of his talking backpack. Question is does anybody want a peanut butter and clams pizza?
Tomatoes from Mars by Arthur Yorinks, illustrated by Mort Drucker (HarperCollins, c1997)
Not too many picture books out there have the plot of a science fiction B movie while managing to be so funny. Yorinks succeeds delightfully in this story of invading Tomatoes and the scientist who finally discovers their weakness. (Salad dressing spritzers). I enjoy reading this one to my kids–it has the perfect invading alien plot arc, while remaining completely kid friendly.
Beatnik Rutabagas From Beyond the Stars by Quentin Dodd (Farrar, Straus Giroux, c2001)
This might win the award for one of the most bizarre titles ever. Two earth kids have been recruited by opposing alien forces to act as their commanders in the war. One of those alien races looks a lot like giant rutabagas with goatees and tentacles. The story is terribly silly –but what would you expect from such a title? I played a little loose with the list definition here, since the aliens aren’t actual rutabagas, but I think they still manage to fit in with my ten.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Isidre Mones (Atheneum, 2013)
I’ll never forget the original title in this picture book trio. The idea of food that came as weather was just too delicious not to enjoy. However the sequels just don’t have the same kind of oomph–particularly this recent third. However it is about space and food and is part of a series where food figures quite fantastically!
Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-This-World Moon Pie Adventure by Toni DiTerlizzi (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2000)
When his mom won’t let Jimmy have a moon pie before dinner, he storms off and decides to take his own hand-made spacecraft to the moon for more moon pies. He succeeds in arriving, but things become dangerous when the Grimble Grinder shows up! Will Jimmy get back home in time for supper. Back in the day, we used to joke that the moon was made of Green Cheese, but I like the whole moon pie idea better!
Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013)
Jax is part of a family of superbeings that oversee the entire cosmos. his father is Supreme Overlord of the Universe and his brothers all get to help his father with important tasks, leaving Jax to deliver pies. Of course, these aren’t ordinary pies–they contain secrets to building universes in their crusts, but they are still pies. When Earth goes missing, however, Jax must learn the recipe for remaking an entire planet from scratch! A strange story, to be sure, but a fascinating one.
Cafe Cosmos by Janine Scott, illustrations by Hannah Wood (Windmill, c2009)
Chef Mars Mozzarellas has opened the first eatery in space and aliens come from far and wide to sample the cuisine. Oddly enough, this is the only book I found featuring an outerspace eatery. Given that galactic diners, ice cream shops and other venues are often a part of science fictional movies, cartoons and adult SF (though mostly saloons and pubs) I’m surprised I didn’t find more!
You Can’t Eat a Princess! by Gillian Rogerson & Sarah McIntyre (Scholastic, 2010)
Princess Spaghetti’s father, King Cupcake is captured by aliens who want to eat him for dinner. The princess heads off to rescue him and offers the aliens an alternative to eating people: Chocolate! Afterall, who doesn’t love chocolate?
Commader Toad and the Planet of the Grapes by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bruce Degen (Puffin, c1982)
And finally, here is the wonderfully insane adventures of Commander Toad. This time our amphibian commander has found a planet that looks like just the spot for his weary crew to take a break for a picnic. But when the crew leaves the Star Warts they wind up being swallowed up by giant grapes! Can Doc Peeper, the medical officer, help Toad rescue his crew? Marvelously “toad”-in-cheek space adventures for any young Star Wars fan.
So there’s my ten! Can you come up with any others for my list? Comments welcome!
Oh and adding in one more bit. I’m not really a fan of Elmo, but there’s this one “Elmo’s Musical” where he’s delivery a pizza in space, so I’m adding a clip of it here:
About Stephanie WhelanI'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.
Posted on March 4, 2015, in General Posts, Lists and tagged Aliens, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Children's Literature, kidlit, Lists, literature, MG Books, Middle-Grade Fiction, Picture Books, Reading, reviews, Science Fiction, SF, Space Adventure. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.