Publishers Weekly Review
A third of the way into Thompson's first graphic novel for young readers, his heroine Violet mishears "eschatological" as "scatological." Oddly enough, both adjectives fit the story to a T. Poop is everywhere in Violet's itinerant, extraterrestrial existence-neon green space whale poop, that is. Violet's father, a "lumberjack," harvests it for money (it's an important energy source), while her mother works in the fashion industry; the family's financial stresses are as keenly felt as the tension between blue-collar and creative-class work. When a toxic whale diarrhea spill threatens widespread disaster, and Violet's father goes missing, she is thrust into a position to save the day, joined by Elliot, a timid chicken plagued by portentous visions, and Zacchaeus, a rowdy alien who may be the last of his kind. Thompson (Habibi) has created a richly imagined and gorgeously illustrated universe, and his candy-colored palette belies the class divisions, environmental woes, and corporate/industrial dominance of Violet's future. It's a wild and funny escapade, undergirded by a tender portrait of a family just trying to get by. Ages 8-12. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 5 Up-Violet's family lives among the Roids, the boondocks of the galaxy, where her father collects the whale droppings that fuel society. It's a dangerous job, for these massive space mammals eat anything stationary. During a bout of whale diarrhea (the equivalent of an oil spill), Violet's father goes missing. However, this capable young lady isn't about to sit still. With teamwork, she and her diverse group of alien friends learn they can pass impassible obstacles, save baby whales, and survive the harsh realities of space. This volume is a cornucopia of wacky aliens, cool ships, and space junk. Every panel is crammed full of minutely detailed line art and colored to match the status of the place (the elitist space-station Shell-Tarr has bright hues, while "outer space" has all the rusty and grimy shades of a junkyard). For this whirlwind adventure, Thompson uses dynamic layouts, opens up smaller spaces with cross-sections, and even mimics the action with some panels. While the work scrutinizes the energy crisis that humanity has yet to avert, it mostly focuses on the themes of family, friendship, and cooperation. VERDICT With its fully realized artistic vision, oddball humor, and fantastic story, Space Dumplins will appeal to those who loved, but have outgrown, Zita the Space Girl (First Second, 2011) and Cleopatra in Space (Scholastic, 2014).-Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ontario, Canada © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.