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Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet
Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet
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Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader

Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet

by Jan Dallimore
Illustrated by Richard Morden

The dirty Grotts are trashing the entire galaxy. Garbage is everywhere! It's time for Captain Cal and his crew to clean up the smelly garbage and the Grotts wasteful attitude.

GenreFantasy & Science Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Interest LevelGrades 1-3
Lexile Level580L
ATOS Level3.7
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #130632
PublisherPicture Window Books
Page Dimensions5 3/4" x 8 1/4"
Page Count56
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $19.99 School/Library Price
Sets that include this title:


Practically Paradise Blog - Diane Chen

"Giving Capstone early chapter books Among the books I'm sorting for River Valley Elementary are these titles from Capstone Publishing. Norton Saves the Day (Pony Tales) by Bernadette Kelly. Illustrated by Liz Alger. Picture Window Books. ©2010 ISBN 9781404855052 $14.99 Second graders will enjoy this Pony Tales series. Those of you who have visited my library know I inherited about 7 sets of horse and pony books for girls that never seem to have been checked out. My middle schoolers living in the multi-cultural suburbs of Nashville are not exactly dreaming of owning a pony. Therefore, it takes a unique title to catch my interest and enable me to send it on to elementary schools. Here's the publishers description: Norton is a naughty pony. Everyone thinks so. Well, everyone except his owner, Molly. She thinks Norton is the most perfect pony in the whole world, no matter what kind of trouble he causes! In Norton Saves the Day Molly takes her mother's advice to enroll Norton in riding school. I love the illustrations in this title as they tell an essential part of the story. Readers can gasp at the audacious naughtiness of this horse throughout and the blind love Molly has for Norton. I also appreciate the illustrator drawing a very real woman for Molly's mother rather than the model types that often appear. Readers will be able to identify that the author and the illustrator both wanted horses when they were growing up, but I'm sure no one wants a horse like Norton. Norton Saves the Day was first published in Australia by Black Dog Books in 2008. Other titles in this series include Naughty Norton, Norton's First Show, and Who Stole Norton. For elementary collections needing beginning adventure science fiction here's the series Captain Cal. I reviewed Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet by Jan Dallimore and illustrated by Richard Morden. I noticed this was originally published in Australia by Black Dog Books with the title Captain Cal and the Grotts. I'm still trying to figure out what a grott is. Does it have anything to do with the black metal band from Finland that developed the concept of the Troll Syndicate where trolls wipe out and control humanity? In Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet Cal and his friends help the Grotts or inhabitants of another planet learn how to recycle, reuse and reduce their trash. Science purists will roll their eyes over some aspects, but 2-3rd graders will enjoy Captain Cal's adventures. Additonal Captain Cal titles include: Captain Cal and the Robot Army Captain Cal and the Giant Straw Captain Cal and the Great Space Race" - Practically Paradise Blog

December 17, 2009

Library Media Connection - Roxanne Mills, Educational Reviewer, Smithfield, Virginia

"These Captain Cal books will be desirable because they are science fiction beginning chapter books. Short chapters with lots of dialogue make this a winning read-aloud. Both books are illustrated with black and white graphic drawings of the characters and their escapades. The imaginative nature of the futuristic stories lends itself to multiple opportunities for teachers and students to enjoy predicting solutions to the outer space problems. In Captain Cal and the Robot Army, a very important scientist moves from Earth to outer space and then begins a plan to take over the world. Of course, Captain Cal and his team have a plan to rescue everyone. In Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet the young people are on a mission to clean up messy alien litter in outer space, again saving the world! Both books are appropriate for early readers and will be an asset to librarians trying to add books to that genre. The author has included multiple enhancements: space craft diagrams, glossaries, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Recommended." - Library Media Connection

January 1, 2010

School Library Journal - Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT

"When the Bureau Against Interplanetary Trickery calls, Captain Cal and crew must take off in their spaceship, the Silver Pig. In Garbage Planet, they perform “Operation Vacuum” to eliminate heaps of garbage strewn about by irresponsible aliens called Grotts. In Robot Army, the mission is to fly to the planet Botchit where a mad scientist whose own invention did not measure up to computers is plotting to take over the world. Both stories begin with an exciting premise, but when challenged, Captain Cal’s foes hardly put up a fight. Prince Dash, a tiny Grott discovered amid the trash, is transformed instantly into a poster child for a cleaner world. His declarations come off as preachy. And the supposedly demonic professor is unveiled at the end of Robot Army as a harmless sniveling dog, a peculiar and confusing revelation. Black-and-white cartoon illustrations support the texts in these beginning chapter books, along with a glossary, writing prompts, and a cutaway diagram of the imaginary spaceship." - School Library Journal

February 1, 2010


Booklist - Gillian Engberg

"One of the first titles in the Captain Cal chapter-book series, this light adventure sends junior space hero Cal and his team on a mission to save earth from a deluge of galactic garbage sent by the Grotts, “the messiest aliens in the galaxy.” Cal and his sidekicks load up their trusty space vessel, the Silver Pig (complete with stylized snout), and zoom off to Grottsville, where they employ a giant vacuum to suck away the filthy planet’s debris and deposit it in a giant black hole. A young Grott, Prince Dash, is nearly discarded along with the slimy food scraps, but Cal saves him just in time, and the Silver Pig team members are treated to a hero’s welcome in Grottsville, where they are asked to share tips for keeping a planet tidy. Although the black-and-white illustrations beg for color, the clear lines and characters’ expressions build up the story’s sheer silliness. The environmental angle is flimsy, but appended discussion questions and writing prompts offer a few opportunities to lead kids into the issues." - Booklist

February 1, 2010