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Sardine in Outer Space Paperback – May 2, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–Sardine is the sprightly, swashbuckling niece of Captain Yellow Shoulder, a galactic pirate who saves children from orphanages run by a costume-wearing villain (Supermuscleman). Twelve chapters each contain a short adventure, as Sardine and her cousin Little Louie fight Supermuscleman and his Assistant, Doc Krok, as well as various aliens, creatures, and robots. The artwork is scratchy and primitive, but also contains the sort of raw, grotesque sensibility that so often clicks with young readers. Tentacles, poisons, and gloopy substances are exhibited in abundance, as is Supermuscleman's rear end, and despite Yellow Shoulder's vast musculature, it is petite Sardine who usually ends up saving the day. Occasional puns and cultural references are sophisticated (e.g., a trio of clouds made from beer, wine, and rum take their names from Dumas's Three Musketeers; the youngsters play a video game called No-Child-Left-Behind-School II), but most of the dramatic situations are comical enough to be appreciated by the intended audience.–Benjamin Russell, The Derryfield School, Manchester, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. Sword fighting her way through this French paean to disobedience is tiny space-pirate Sardine, all long red hair and giant blue hat, who cruises in her spaceship Huckleberry with Uncle Yellow Shoulder and friend Little Louie. Their mission: to oppose Supermuscleman, the mustachioed tyrant of a space orphanage where children are taught "proper behavior." In 12 whirlwind tales filled with comic battles and clever escapes, the heroes foil the villain's plans, exposing themselves to the dangers of space lions, ice-cream shops, and video games. The disobedience stays largely within reason, and Uncle Yellow appears to have as many rules for his wards as the space orphanage does. But Uncle Yellow is still a big, burly pirate, which makes for a free-wheeling ride peppered with as much grisly monster-filleting action and bodily fluid humor as a young reader could want. Sfar's off-kilter, slightly uglified art, reminiscent of a toned-down Beavis and Butthead, gives the simple fun an unusual punch. Jesse Karp
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Series: Sardine in Outer Space (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; 1st edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596431261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emmanuel Guibert has written a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, among them the Sardine in Outer Space series and The Professor's Daughter with Joann Sfar.

In 1994, a chance encounter with an American World War II veteran named Alan Cope marked the beginning of a deep friendship and the birth of a great biographical epic.

Another of Guibert's recent works is The Photographer. Showered with awards, translated around the world, it relates a Doctors Without Borders mission in 1980's Afghanistan through the eyes of a great reporter, the late Didier Lefevre.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sardine in Outer Space is the creation of a couple of two brilliant French cartoonists and writers Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar. This book collects twelve stories featuring the adventures of a little girl named Sardine, her cousin Louie, and her Uncle, the pirate Captain Yellow Shoulder as they travel through space on their ship The Huckleberry with a crew of kids and battle the evil Supermuscleman and his chief henchman Doc Krok.

In the opening tale Sardine has to rescue her uncle who has been captured by the diabolical pair who are trying to force him to tell where his ship is hidden. It's up to Sardine to save the day but only after she eludes a giant space leech. In another tale, the kids are swimming on a planet made almost entirely of water called "Glug" when Sardine and Louie are captured by some honking and tooting undersea fishmen.

In "Planet Discoball" uncle Yellow Shoulder is forced to land on a planet that looks, well, just like a glittering discoball in order to re-fuel. Gas is in short supply but the Empress Laser Diskette have promised a full tank of gas to the winner of her tournament. All you have to do is dance with the slug-like Empress to win!

As you can see these are stories geared towards a younger reader, but not too young as there is some wonderfully clever humor that very young ones won't catch. That said, adults will get a kick out of these wacky antics as well as the book has a look very reminiscent of old underground comics. The colors by Walter Pezalli must also be pointed out as his bold coloring truly makes the book come alive. I found myself enjoying this book so much more than I would have ever dreamed. Unfortunately we don't often get much exposure to comics outside of the U.S. and kudos to First Second books for publishing this gem.

Reviewed by Tim Janson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Geared more toward children, more so the middle reader, Sardine in Outer Space is the first "graphic novel" I've reviewed.

The cartoon drawings will attract children and can be enjoyed by adults as well.

This story was translated from French by Sasha Watson. Comic authors Guibert and Sfar took turns writing the script and drawing pictures.

The heroine Sardine, her uncle Yellow Shoulder and Little Louie board the Huckleberry and blast off into space. There they encounter cosmic squid, masters of the universe, leeches, talking clouds and many evil characters. Your child would love think this is so cool.

Supermuscleman is the evil guy and with his helper Doc Krok, they chase Sardine and friends. The story line also includes manners, moral stories and human--teaching and reinforcing messages.

About one character they say, "He is so brave," to which another says, "No, that's just his job." Another chimes in, "But he is NOT crazy."

Many of the space-age characters will remind you of the Star Wars space mutants.

Armchair Interviews says: If your child is imaginative and enjoys quirky things they will like Sardine in Outer Space, a good example these new graphic novels (that means a comic bound like a book).
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Format: Paperback
As many librarians will tell you, "give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Give a child an age-appropriate graphic novel and it will circulate until the pages disintegrate". Kind of an odd saying, I know, but a true one. This title was originally published in France and has now been translated for the American audience. Less graphic novel than serial, this collection of short comics tell the story of a little girl (Sardine), her uncle Captain Yellow Shoulder, and cousin Louie. Together they fight against the evil combo of Supermuscleman, chief executive dictator of the universe, and his large headed sidekick Doc Krok.

The adventures are fast paced and goofy, occasionally straying into the absurd. In one tale, our heros travel to planet Discoball to take part in a dance contest with The Empress Laser Diskette. Providing the music? Diskette's son Prince BeeJeez. Yes, like the band.

Kids will enjoy the action and silly situations, but this reviewer was left wanting just a little bit more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great series of comics. I think they are written for a slightly older audience, but my 5 year old absolutely loves them. I like them because I can read them to him, then once he knows the story lines he pores through the pages himself. The story lines are unoffensive (unlike some other series aimed at young readers), although some parents might not approve of the occasional use of the words "stupid" and "dumb."
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