Tuesday, May 21, 2024

No Malto Left Behind by Ryder Windham

Today's read hit the shelves a couple weeks ago and is the latest in the EarthSpark - Transformers series as seen on Nickelodeon. I did review the first one in the series last year (here) and enjoyed it enough to be curious to take a look at this addition...although I do believe one or two more have come out in the mean time. 

It's a chapter book for those readers, who are sure enough of their words to head into exciting tales but need quite a bit more practice before heading into full-blown novels. 

by Ryder Windham
Illustrated by Patrick Spaziante
Simon Spotlight
Chapter Book
64 pages
ages 4 to 8

Transformers: EarthSpark is a kids animated series from Nickelodeon and Hasbro introducing the first Transformers bots to be born on Earth, streaming on Paramount+!

Robby and Mo get themselves into trouble while Dot, Bumblebee, and their Terran siblings are out on a secret mission in this action-packed chapter book featuring an all-new original story based on Transformers: EarthSpark!

Robby and Mo are super bummed—their Terran siblings are going on a top-secret undercover mission with Bumblebee, but they have to stay behind to finish a book report. Even though they are stuck at home, Robby and Mo decide to make their day a lot more interesting with a little help from Nightshade’s Smart Trainer 5008. But when the Smart Trainer spins out of control, Robby and Mo must think about what responsibility really means. Since they got themselves into trouble, can they find a way out on their own?

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Action and tension drive every page forward, while a sense of family and friends offer the needed platform true heroes thrive on.

The team has received a mission, and while the transformers and older Terran siblings are off to catch an enemy, Robby and Mo are stuck at home to finish up their homework. It isn't fair, since missions are rare and the two really want to join the fun. To hurry things along, they decide to use one of Nightshade's inventions to assist with the homework, but they don't expect it to turn on them! Meanwhile, the rest of the team has lost track of the enemy...and it might be headed right to the farm where Robby and Mo are already dealing with more than the can almost handle.

While the beloved transformers start off and end this read, it centers more on Robby and Mo as they get themselves into some pretty sticky situations. Action fans will enjoy the blasts, high tension, and danger as the siblings personally battle lasers and more...and all of this in ways which still slide in with a level fitting to the intended age group. To round things off, there's a wonderful sense of family, teamwork, coming-to-aide, and support. 

The text does push readers to expand their vocabulary. Thanks to the theme and plot, readers are engaged and will be willing to work through the few more difficult words to see what happens next. The text is also in a large font for easier reading purposes. I was surprised at the length of several of the paragraphs, but thanks to the shorter word amount on each page, this shouldn't be overwhelming. The illustrations found on every page not only keep the text from growing overwhelming but follow the story to help support each scene. 

Not only does the action make this fun, but the family and friend aspect offers a wholesome background. Robby and Mo do make mistakes but aren't chastised much. Rather, it's the learned wisdom which is focused on. This is definitely a nice choice for Transformer fans and those who enjoy a little more action.

And here they are...

Ryder Windham is a science fiction author who has written over sixty Star Wars books as well as titles for the Indiana Jones and Transformers franchises.

Patrick Spaziante is an American comic book artist and children’s book illustrator known for his work for Archie Comics, in particular his interior pencil and cover work for Sonic the HedgehogSonic X, and Sonic Universe.

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