This book is BRILLIANT. I have to say that from the outset as I don’t want you to have to read any further before rushing out and getting hold of your own copy from your nearest bookshop or library. We were already huge fans of Duddle’s previous two books, ‘The Pirate Cruncher‘ (which C made me sing my way through for months on end, treating the whole story as an elaborate sea shanty) and ‘The Pirates Next Door‘ (which was also enormously popular), so we had high hopes for this book and we were NOT disappointed.
The story follows Rex, who lives on his parents’ moog farm (moogs are space cows, dontcha know) and lives a typical six year old’s life helping out at home and going to school. He does, however, have some VERY big dreams. Rex is absolutely certain that if he just puts his mind to it, it won’t be long before he is……… The King of Space. Cue dramatic music and lots of mwah-ha-ha-ing.
Despite a somewhat lacklustre response to this claim from his classmates, Rex is undeterred and his plans seem to be coming together when his teacher asks each child to design a robot for homework. His friends come up with some pretty cool ideas:
but Rex designs a Warbot that lands him in some trouble at school…
He still remains resolute in his commitment to achieving galaxy-wide domination and eventually his efforts get noticed, though unfortunately it’s by the Galactic Alliance, who are none too happy with Rex’s actions. He kidnaps their leader’s daughter, Princess Kooki, to try and increase his bargaining power, but this incurs such wrath on the part of his enemies that they visit all their force upon him in a glorious fold-out spread.
Realising that things might have gone a teeny tiny bit too far, Rex tells his parents exactly what he’s been up to and asks for their help. As the boys get older I know that they will need me less and less, which is just as it should be but still makes me feel a little sad from time to time. This book was a lovely of showing that sometimes we all need our mums and reassured me that should C or H get themselves into a universe-sized pickle, I’ll be here for them to call on for support.
I’m missing my own mum very much at the moment, having just got through Mothering Sunday and now heading towards the anniversary of her death next week. She was an absolute superhero, who would have thought nothing of fighting off armies of aliens and space invaders to protect my sister and me. I miss her more than ever and am still not quite sure how the world keeps going without her, but she is my inspiration for Story Seekers and I ‘talk’ to her about it all the time, as I do about the boys. I hope that C and H have as close a relationship as Mum and I had and as Rex has with his mum 🙂
Getting back to the book, Duddle’s humour and the way he just ‘gets’ how to speak to children are as evident in this book as they are in his others, and his illustrations are as wonderfully colourful and detailed as well. There are lots of little references to his other books in the pictures and the boys loved discovering these as we read through the book. C loves ‘spot the difference’ activities at the moment, so it was right up his street.
If the above isn’t enough to convince you that you need this intergalactic adventure on your bookshelves, the dust-jacket opens out into a giant poster featuring the characters from the story:
AND Rex’s Warbot:
You can’t say fairer than that!
Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I given any money for doing so, and the review represents my own honest opinion.