Nuts In Space by Elys Dolan

Published by Nosy Crow (ISBN: 978-0857633910)

Having found The Lost Nuts of Legend, the fearless crew of Forest Fleet 704 are celebrating. Now all they have to do is get home, but the Star Nav isn’t working so it’s not as easy as it sounds!

This book is great fun! The illustrations are very engaging, with jokes on every page. From the opening spread of letters fading into the night sky to the need to ‘boldly go’ at the end, the whole book gently pokes fun at the sci-fi genre in general and at Star Wars/ Star Trek in particular. Even I, with my limited knowledge of these things, recognised the uniforms and Space Station café scene! There is much here to engage adults in sharing with their children. 

It would be hard to do this book justice as a class read. So much of the humour is in the detail and needs to be discovered as the story unfolds. Children will love finding the jokes in both the pictures and the words, but need to get up close to do this. Those who struggle with reading will find the short sections of text accessible and achievable.

There are many ways of using this book as a spring board for further work. Each place the crew visit could inspire further writing and there are endless possibilities for exploring the further adventures of this hapless bunch. There are many opportunities for children exploring character through drama and discussion. Speech punctuation could be revised using the words of the characters and the children could play around with choosing different speech verbs to alter the way the characters speak. 

A book to come back to time and time again!