My Favorite Thing About Zita : An Appreciation of Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl

I am so honored to be part of the farewell blog tour for Ben Hatke's brilliant graphic novel trilogy. Be sure to check out the other fantastic tributes by people like Tom Angleberger's origami Zita!!! And don't miss this awesome post at the graphic novel book review blog Good OK Bad where the author's 4 year old daughter spent the last several months learning to read so she could read The Return of Zita the Spacegirl on her own... 

My favorite thing about Zita the Spacegirl is that she is a GIRL. Sorry to be so simplistic and blunt, but as someone who has read a lot of kid's books over the last 20 years, professionally, personally and parentally, spacegirls are as rare as a jump crystal. Happily, Zita is as explosively exciting as a jump crystal! Watching her explore the universe (and grow up a little bit) over the last three years (just look at the covers!) has been a true gift. As part of the  My Favorite Thing About Zita 27 day blog tour, with my post coming in the middle, I was pretty sure I would echo someone else's sentiments, and sure enough,  Elizabeth Bird  beat me to it with her tribute from May 8 extolling the rarity of a girl who gets girls closer to fulfilling the "promise so many of us girls received with Princess Leia."

                                   Zita the Spacegirl               Legends of Zita the Spacegirl     (review to come!)

And of course I love all the other characters in this trilogy. They feel like old friends and new creations at the same time. There has probably been a giant mouse somewhere in the history of graphic novels and the world of fantasy, but has there been one like Pizzicato who speaks through messages that shoot out of the elegant scroll on his neck? And Strong-Strong. There always has to be a big, strong, silent type, sure, but has there been one with a star on his chest that can accomplish so much?

And finally, I have to admit that knowing that Ben Hatke is the father to four daughters AND that his wife was the originator of the Zita character herself, based on a sketch she made in high school, adds to the mythology of this fantastic story. Zita is not just a spunky, adventurous, stereotypical literary girl. She is curious. She is playful. She is brave and she is conscientious and empathetic. Sometimes she might make the wrong choice, but she fixes her mistakes. It's no wonder she has inspired so many readers!

Thank you, Anna, for bringing Zita into this world, and thank you Ben for making her such a compelling, kick-ass, interesting, lovable character!

Click here for the WHY I LOVE ZITA blog tour!

The Hatkes!

The first Zita costume (worn by Anna Hatke) and many more Zitas here!

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