Belka drew a deep breath as the significance of the moment hit him. Gersbacian meets Earthling. Two worlds coming together. The hands of two great civilisations stretching out across the universe. This was it. This was First Contact . A thud threw Belka and Strelka forward in their seats.
‘He’s stuck his nose in our butt,’ Strelka announced, checking his instruments.
In 1957 a Russian dog called Laika was launched into space – never to be seen again. Far away, the residents of planet Gersbach were surprised to meet Laika when she crashed in their midst, but they soon grew to love her. Now, though, Gersbach is faced by destruction by a mysterious force located on Earth. They are sending their two finest Galactanauts to find and destroy it. Their ship should blend in easily on Earth – it is modelled on Laika – a spacecraft that looks just a dog.
On Earth the galactanauts face all sorts of perils – from rebel Gersbachians inside a dachshund-shaped craft, to angry boys on motorised scooters. But they find allies in the Buckley family – a family with problems of their own.
Space Dogs is a fun first novel from a talented pair, who have managed to have the book also published in the US and Canada and are in talks regarding film rights. Kids will like the silliness of the idea of tiny aliens travelling in dog-shaped craft, and the non-stop action of the story.
Space Dogs has been simultaneously released in print and audiobook versions, the latter read by Andrew McFarlane.
Space Dogs, by Justin Ball and Evan Croker
ABC Books, 2006