'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 12 September 2011

Review: Unstoppable Brainspin

Yet another addition to the highly-saturated market of whacky, madcap, icky books, this new series by Dave Hackett manages to grasp hold of the edges of the schlock pile and haul itself high to stand proudly on a mound of mutant slugs with razor-sharp teeth (sticky-taped to the back of an angry rhinoceros which has been sticky-taped to a fifteen-metre-high monster truck. Natch.)

Yes, this book, like many on the market, is riotously silly, kooky and oftentimes gross, but it is also funny, clever, and, like, totally OUT THERE.

Following the adventures of SUCS (Seriously Useless Crime Stoppers), we meet four enthusiastic youngsters – The Confusenator (with the uncanny ability to confuse), Foody-O (who is permanently coated in all manner of edible operational devices), the Human Poodle (and his impenetrable wall of chest hair) and Blender Head (who has a blender installed in the top of her head).

These four totally useless crime stoppers are sent to task when the Perpetrators Of Outrageous Pranks (POOP) begin savaging Sucktropolis with their completely ineffective pranks. But just as SUCS get set to stop them in their tracks, Dr Loopitus Brainspin appears on his crazy goat, demanding the team hand over the Fifth Banana.

Yes. Confusion ensues, especially as we’re introduced to a band of crazy characters from a cat with straws for whiskers to a stuntman with a penchant for sticky-taping stuff to stuff, and a granny who isn’t going to appear what she appears to appear to be.

Can SUCS save their town from POOP and fend off a crazy professor intent on feeding everything and anything in sight to his goat? Or will someone else do it for them?

Although this kind of book is not really my ‘thing’ (I’m not an eight-year-old boy, after all), I must admit, I loved it. Not because it joins a lengthy band of books that might just ‘hook boys into reading’ but because the dry, perfectly timed humour and hilarious illustrations Hackett has produced perfectly complement a highly imaginative and totally bizarre tale reminiscent of the shenanigans of such dramatic productions as Batman and Get Smart.

Yes, boys will have fun with this book, but so will girls and parents can rest easy in the knowledge that their kids are learning a cacophony of anti-dumbed-down wordage and developing a fabulous sense of humour and expanding their imagination, even if it is into the realm of Kookydom.

Creator Hackett has either already worked in advertising and/or tv writing – and/or should be. Slick, silly and dare I say it – sophisticated – I’m poised on the edge of my seat for the sequel – Sumo Granny Smackdown. Go on. Have a laugh.

Title: Unstoppable Brainspin
Author/Illustrator: Dave Hackett
Publisher: Puffin, A$14.95RRP
Publication Date: 30/08/10
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143305217
For ages: 7 - 11
Type: Junior Fiction