When an orange-suited time traveler hurtles through space-time into the verdant landscape of the far distant past, the last thing they surely expected was to slip on a rock, plummet into a beautiful stream, and lose their time-traveling device (“the time hopper”) to the open maw of a passing fish. But in the wacky and whimsical world of Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy, this is precisely what happens.

The third installment in Doug Savage’s series chronicling the adventures of the titular friends, Time Trout is a rollicking tale of time travel gone repeatedly awry. The three main characters, Rabbit Boy (a fuzzy bunny), Laser Moose (a moose who can shoot lasers from his eyes) and Trout zoom back and forth through time, getting into slapstick mishaps along the way. The book’s three chapters are largely full of goofy—albeit somewhat violent—chase scenes involving the main characters’ attempts to escape the vengeful Aquabear (a large aquamarine bear-fish hybrid), wrest the time-hopper back from the truculent Trout, and get everyone back to their own time and place.

The style of illustration is pleasantly clear and graphic, with matte colors predominately in shades of purples, blues, greens, and browns. The bold lines and comforting colors feel as if they might belong to a children’s animated television show, and this youthful feel goes a long way in mitigating any truly scary sense to the graphic novel’s violence: while characters’ limbs are regularly sizzled off by Laser Moose’s laser eyes, for instance, the effect is more comedic than upsetting. Savage’s style is also effective in communicating all of the twists and turns that accompany time travel stories, as the characters hurtle backwards and forwards in space-time with minimum confusion.

An engaging and humorous jaunt perfect for elementary readers who enjoy other cartoon-y tales of slapstick action such as Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man or Laperla’s Super Potato series, Time Trout is a fine addition to elementary school collections.

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Time Trout
By Doug Savage
ISBN: 9781449497453
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: 8-11

  • Avery

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Avery is a relative newcomer to the world of comics and graphic novels who is nonetheless really excited about the medium’s capacity to enthrall, educate, and connect readers. Born and raised in the Midwestern U.S., Avery received both her undergraduate and MLS degrees from Indiana University but is now a transplant to Louisiana, where she is working as an adult services librarian and branch manager in the Tangipahoa Parish Library system. Besides reading, she’s also passionate about swimming, friendship, radical pedagogy, sewing, and trees. Her personal review blog can be found at https://aolundsmith.wixsite.com/bookcarousel.

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