The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza

by Mac Barnett (Author) Shawn Harris (Illustrator)

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

New York Times bestselling Mac Barnett and Caldecott Honor award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris turn their massively popular "The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza" live cartoon into an action-packed and hysterical graphic novel.  

Something terrible is happening in the skies! Rats are eating the MOON! There's only ONE hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon's savior and Earth's last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat. A cat who will be blasted into space! Accompanied by the imperious Moon Queen and LOZ 4000, a toenail clipping robot, the First Cat in Space journeys across a fantastic lunar landscape in a quest to save the world. Will these unlikely heroes save the moon in time? Can a toenail-clipping robot find its purpose in the vast universe? And will the First Cat in Space ever eat some pizza?

Kirkus Reviews

Aside from one pirate captain and a general back on Earth, the human and humanoid cast in Harris’ loosely drawn cartoon panels, from the appropriately moon-faced queen on, is light skinned. Merch, music, and the original episodes are available on an associated website. Epic lunacy. (Graphic science fiction. 8-11).


Obvious work of creative joy. A definite winner in the age of Dog Man.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Adapting the "Live Cartoon" series that shares this title's name, Barnett (John's Turn) and Harris (Have You Ever Seen a Flower?) replace innovative papercraft and DIY camerawork with an assured graphic novel collaboration. When rats from another galaxy begin devouring the moon, Earth's smartest scientists dispatch a cybernetically enhanced cat--the First Cat in Space--to deal with the threat. Accompanied by a guileless, toenail-clipping robot named LOZ 4000 and the proud Moon Queen, First Cat adventures across a madcap geography (frozen wastelands, violent seas, living forests) to confront the Rat King. An effective fluid panel structure and frequent perspective changes propel this fast-paced escapade from gag to gag in location after increasingly improbable location. Harris uses a thick, confident line to create an expansive cast of dynamic characters (mostly light-skinned) out of simple shapes, filled and shaded with textural colored pencil. In full, vivid color, the loose cartoon style exudes an infectious glee, flawlessly matching Barnett's freewheeling, absurdist humor and plotting. Includes sheet music to one of the original series' tunes, plus a link to a full collection of tracks. Ages 8-12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

A Kids' Indie Next List Pick!

Mac Barnett
Mac Barnett is the New York Times bestselling author of many picture books, including Telephone and Extra Yarn, which won a Caldecott Honor, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and the E.B. White ReadAloud Award. Mac lives in Berkeley, California.

Christian Robinson has illustrated several acclaimed picture books, including Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor, a Robert F. Sibert Honor, a Bologna Ragazzi Honor Award for nonfiction, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. He lives in San Francisco, California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date
May 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV008140 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Science Fiction
JUV008110 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Humorous
JUV008050 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Animals
Library of Congress categories
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 04/01/22

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