Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
This is the journey of Laika, the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth's first space traveler. With the blending of fact and fiction, this story intertwines three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika's health and life.
Publisher: New York : First Second, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781596431010
Characteristics: 205 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Sycamore, Hilary - Illustrator

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 08, 2018

Both amusing and tragic, the central canine character will take you with her into her doggy dreams, and the wrenching story of her ever-trusting relationship to humans.

Aug 21, 2018

I loved this graphic novel! It was so sad. Laika the dog is a true hero. This book shows the sacrifice that Laika and many other animals made to the Russian space program. It also shows the stories of the people involved. Some were caring caretakers of the animals while others were heartless. I highly recommend this book, but keep a tissue handy.

Nov 17, 2014

When I first heard of Laika, I remember thinking how desperately sad her story was. I didn't know the whole thing until I read this little gem. It is unbearably sad. And beautiful. I kept running around the house chasing my dog, trying to clutch her to me. She was annoyed. Now when she does bad things, i threaten to send her into space.

Vilka Feb 26, 2014

I docked one star for the sloppy art, but had to give it back for leaving me emotionally crippled. I admit I was bawling through the last quarter (which hasn't happened in a LONG time), even though I knew how it would end.
The story of the Cold War space race, focusing on three characters: the gulag prisoner turned head designer for Sputnik, the stray dog who became the first living being in orbit, and the lab technician in charge of the research dogs. Though the art quality is indifferent at best, the story itself is a troubling and ultimately tragic look at Cold War politics, duty, trust and ethics (in both politics and research).

Nov 18, 2013

I loved this book!

Jun 18, 2011

A wonderful, sad tale.

Feb 25, 2011

I've always heard of about Laika the First dog into space, but not how it came to be.
Laika brings to the reader the harsh cold reality of the space program.
it creates a Russian world that feels very bleak while showing pockets of caring people.
Don't want to give the ending away but does bring tears to ones eyes.
I would recommend not reading this in the Winter, way to many frightfully cold settings.

Feb 18, 2011

Won an Eisner Award. Worthy read. Engaging. Odd transitions of characters' facial expressions from one picture to the next. I cried.

brightling Mar 04, 2010

Laika is a very strong graphic novel. Well told and balances the emotional and realistic elements of the story very well. An emotional tale for many of the characters and certainly for the reader as the story progresses. A recommended read for mature readers as there is some violence to dogs depicted..

020 Nov 05, 2009



Add a Quote
Jan 04, 2011

“Every day, every moment is a frontier to a country that, once crossed, can never be returned to. Most of the time we don't notice. Which is just as it should be. The secret... is not to worry. You can't go back. Although those you leave behind... will still think of you. Most of the time, we don't notice the small, gradual changes... only the sudden unexpected ones. But, once you understand that nothing lasts... everything's all right”

Apr 18, 2009

This place... is a place where we do what we do best. Where we don't let dogs be dogs... or even people be people. This place... this place is a monument to man's ambitions.


Add Notices
brightling Mar 04, 2010

Violence: Some dogs are injured, abused or killed in frame during the comic.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top