THE WORST BAND IN THE UNIVERSE

Steven Spielberg meets Lewis Carroll via Jimmy Page in this latest opus from the irrepressible Base (The Discovery of Dragons, 1998, etc.). Young Sprocc from the planet Blipp can’t help himself; he takes up his Splingtwanger, turns the volume up to ten and plays a new tune, even though it is forbidden. For this he’s banished, and hooks up with a underground group competing in the Worst Band contest. They win, but it’s a trick, and they are sent to Wastedump B19 where the great PowerAxe wielder Skat, bitter and cynical, resides. They escape on a music-powered spacecraft, save Blipp from destruction and free the music (with Skat’s help). The story is told in the most amazing verse, complete with descriptions of a bad guy “grobulous with rage,” and a place where “All reggoid beats prohibited. No rok, no phfunk, no jyve.” Base’s extraordinary sense of detail and his riot of color are taken to a new dimension here, in almost indescribable scenes of SF mayhem. He thoughtfully includes not only a list of characters but a CD of the music. Reading this one aloud may lead to riotous story hours. (Picture book. 6-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8109-3998-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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THE QUILTMAKER'S GIFT

A sentimental tale overwhelmed by busy illustrations and rampant pedantry. A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker’s kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he’s ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. The illustrations are elaborate, filled with clues to quilt names. A note points to the 250 different quilt names hidden in the picture on the inside of the book jacket. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-57025-199-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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