4 out of 4 stars
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Julia Irwin’s Galagamous the Galactic Garbage Collector is a children’s picture book about a hermit who resides in space. Galagamous lives on a red moon with Fizbot, a furry, green animal/creature known as a Yarper. They are frequently teased by the people of another planet, Megopolary, who don’t like hermits or Yarpers. When no one is willing to do garbage collection, the mayor of Megopolary travels to the red moon and requests the hermit’s help. While doing his new job around the galaxy, the plot thickens when Galagamous and his Yarper sidekick spot an unusual object.
Everything about this story is wildly imaginative. With his zig-zag eyebrows, wavy beard, and one long blue hair on his head, Galagamous is a memorable protagonist. His green, furry friend Fizbot looks like a humongous dog with oversized teeth. The setting is also creatively written. There are other children’s books with a space setting, but not many that introduce fictional planets or showcase a garbage collector.
While the story is somewhat long for a children’s picture book, there are only a few sentences on each page. The author does a good job of describing the characters and setting without bogging down the story. I was particularly impressed that the writing was fairly easy to understand, considering the unique plot and offbeat names. The term Yarper is explained well, as a fictional animal/creature who speaks in “yap” and “yarp” sounds. However, it would have been helpful if the word “hermit” had also been explained, since it’s a key aspect of the main character’s lifestyle.
The colorful illustrations tie in closely with the text and provide good visual clues for intermediate readers. The characters have a cartoon-like appearance, and their facial expressions appropriately match the action on each page. I wouldn’t recommend the book for beginning readers, since it is relatively long and contains a few made-up words. Beginning readers tend to gain confidence by reading very short books with short, simple sentences and words. Still, the book would be a perfect choice for parents or teachers to read aloud.
There is a universal theme of wishing you could be different vs. appreciating who you are. It’s always a nice perk when a fun children’s book can also be educational. The story is edited well, with no spelling or grammatical errors. There is also a smooth flow to the plot, with no scenes that veer the storyline off track.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is an enjoyable read, with an interesting plot and offbeat characters. I would recommend the story to children ages 5-8, especially those who enjoy quirky characters and stories set in space. Children younger than the recommended age range would likely prefer a shorter book with simple sentences and concepts. Hopefully, the author will decide to turn this entertaining story into a series. I can easily picture this lovable hermit and his furry sidekick embarking on other adventures.
Galagamous The Galactic Garbage Collector
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