Maybe it’s opposite day at my house. Perhaps I am feeling just a little edgy. (Ha! Me, edgy? Ha! Maybe I’ll put on my orange cardie and do the hustle. That would really stir things up.) Ah well, I promise I’ll keep myself in check for the rest of this post, because, really, with Mighty Jack, Ben Hatke has become one of my go-to graphics-for-kids people. I might have loved everything about Zita the Spacegirl and Little Robot, but now we’ve moved into that space where I feel like he’s so good and reliably funny and interesting that I can recommend everything he does. It’s a special place, Ben Hatke. Don’t abuse your power.
Mighty Jack starts with what seems like a bad deal – giving up a car instead of a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk cow – but Jack’s sister and the neighbor girl, Lilly, add to the story and help keep things moving along. Jack’s sister does not speak, but she has strong opinions, and while Jack is sometimes frustrated by having to watch her, he obviously loves her and wants to protect her. There are magic seeds, an overworked mother with limited income, and bizarrely huge (and aggressive) plants. Throw in some swordplay and a monster, and we’re off!
I may just be too accustomed to binge-watching (or maybe I just really liked this one), but I wish we could have gotten the whole trilogy at once. We’re left without a resolution, with Jack and Lilly leaping through a door. Where will Jack and Lilly end up? Is Maddy safe? Don’t make us wait too long, Ben Hatke. We are a fickle crowd out here. Or maybe not. But still, don’t make us wait.
Mighty Jack, Book 1, Ben Hatke