Jimmy Weather's father and sister come home after a walk in Central Park with a fantastic story of finding a gigantic woodchuck that hatched from a pod. Always crafting far-fetched stories in his quest to be a published author, this kind of tale is nothing new from Jimmy's father. And his sister is only two years old. But the next morning, his father is missing, and the only clue is a whisker left in his parents' bed and the thought that something furry brushed against his mother's leg while she lay sleeping. This is the first inkling that something could be seriously wrong.
On a quest to find his missing father, Jimmy and his best friend, William, have Imogene (his baby sister) take them to the place in the park where they first encountered the woodchuck. Into deeper woods than either boy knew existed in Central Park, Imogene takes them to the mysterious empty pod. High up in the trees, they notice some paper containing their father's distinctive handwriting. So now they are sure his father has been taken. But by whom? And to where?
When the police refuse to help, the two boys enlist the aid of Janice Claytooth. Janice is the class freak who insists she's built a fully functioning spaceship. After sharing the bizarre story with Janice, she doesn't even hesitate. She shares her invention with the two boys, and they are off to outer space to search for Jimmy's father.
But the quest for Mr. Weathers turns into an evil plot to blackmail the universe. The woodchucks are sent to planets to consume the natural resources when the home planets refuse to bargain.
With surprise plot twists and evil characters, Mr. Elish creates a truly unique story of space travel. Three kids wind up undertaking the task of saving the world, when they only wanted to find Jimmy's dad. The distant planets that they travel to made me hungry (read it and you'll see why!) and the resourcefulness of the kids was fun. The book is appropriate for all ages. The illustrations by Greg Call added to the quirkiness of the story. This is definitely a book everyone can enjoy.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr