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

Monday 18 July 2011

Review: The Worst Band in the Universe

On the planet of Blipp, “To write a tune was heresy, to play it even worse, and anyone who improvised was scowled upon and cursed”.

But Sprocc has music inside him, he knows he must play, and to him music is more that just prescribed notes on a page. He wants to play from his heart, despite his world not being ready to hear it. He knows he has to leave to follow his dreams.

When he arrives at planet Squaag, he finds that matters are even worse. Music is banned all together. Except in the bad end of town, that is.

In the low-life end of town, there’s a competition to find the Worst Band in the Universe. The worst? Sprocc wonders, before realising that no one would want to be the best in this place.

He and his new friends are keen to play and desperate to win the prize, a trip to another planet. But will the prize for the Worst Band really be something they want to win?

Sprocc may be about to take a journey a lot longer than he ever expected.

I would describe this as a verse novel in a picture book, the very format to showcase Base’s talent. The full-colour, large illustrations are the main feature here, although the story itself is so strong and clever that it can’t be taken over completely.

This is a story that teaches about bullying and the reasons why it happens, a story about good versus evil and rising above to beat the powers that be.

The Worst Band in the Universe is lots of fun and will have kids laughing for hours upon hours.

Title: The Worst Band in the Universe
Author/Illustrator: Graeme Base
Publisher: Puffin, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2000
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780140565874
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book