First SecondPage Count
6" x 8 1/2"
Level: 2.5, Points: 1Scholastic Reading Counts
Level: 3.1, Points: 4Lexile
Level: GN310LAwards & Honors
Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2011; SLJs Top 10 2011: Graphic Novels; ALA Notable Children 's Book 2012, Middle; 2011 Cybils Awards, Graphic Novels, Elementary/Middle Grade, Winner
Ben Hatke says, “In the story, Zita travels from Earth to an alien world to save her friend, but through the course of the adventure she does a pretty fair bit of exploring as well. The world she ends up on is sort of a way station for creatures from many different planets, so one of my challenges in creating this book was to come up with a very wide variety of creatures. This was definitely a dream come true for me because I’ve been drawing the weird creatures from my imagination since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I admit that I spent a huge portion of my early school days drawing creatures into notebooks and onto worksheets and just about any other piece of paper that came my way, and I was lucky to have a few teachers who encouraged me to keep drawing and creating.
“Shortly after I met my wife-to-be, during college, I started drawing Zita the Spacegirl stories to entertain her. I put every crazy idea I could think of into those early stories—anything that would make her laugh. I really wanted to impress this girl!
“As a character, Zita has gone through a lot of changes since those days, but for me, in a way, not much has changed. I still enjoy trying to cram as many weird creatures as possible into my books. And now I have three young daughters so I guess I’m still drawing adventure stories to entertain the ladies in my life.
“Zita’s name, by the way, comes from a medieval Italian saint who lived near the village where my wife’s father was born. We lived in Italy for a time and while we were there, I used to love to look at the big statue of Santa Zita with her apron full of flowers.”
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