Friday 22 February 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week, Week Ending 22nd February 2013 - "The King of Space" by Jonny Duddle (Templar Publishing)

It was almost inevitable that this would end up as our book of the week this week. We've been waiting for "The King of Space" to arrive ever since I spotted Jonny Duddle's brilliant tutorial on character consistency in FX Magazine's digital art round up. Back the, The King of Space was a slightly bubble headed and stropping looking little guy - not at all the "Rex" we now know and love.

So how successful is Jonny's transition from sailing the seven seas with a bunch of salty old pirates to roaming the stratosphere, armed with gigantic warbots, striving for complete galactic domination?

We join the story as Rex, a genius schoolboy with lofty ambitions, plans a classroom robotics project to eclipse everyone else's. Rex's plan for a weaponized moog-poo robot bears fruit (rather too successfully as the robot trashes his classmates' puny little robot specimens underfoot) and soon he enlists the help of a classmate to work in secret on a whole fleet of war droids with one aim and one aim only. To ensure Rex's place as...The King Of Space.

As his parents, living on a Moog farm, are oblivious to their little darling's plans for galactic domination, Rex kidnaps the emperor's daughter Kooki (who bears a striking resemblance to a certain little girl very dear to Mr Duddle's heart) and tries to win her over.

Soon though, Rex's plans take a turn for the worse but an unexpected ally proves to be more of a force to be reckoned with than an entire space armada!

There are so many moments in this book where you can literally bathe in the glow of a guy who clearly loves his work to bits. Duddle's characters are brilliant, his digital art knocks my socks off and his knack for weaving a grand tale with kid and adult appeal is unparalleled. We absolutely loved the detail in each page, the action packed story full of excitement and adventure (though really you're never really sure whether Rex is actually a goodie or a baddie, after all he does try to enslave the entire universe AND kidnaps the emperor's daughter into the bargain!)

Most of all though we had a heck of a lot of fun spotting all the cameos from Jonny's previous two books. We won't spoil them for you, but there's a certain little character that lives on Rex's bed you might recognise.

"The King of Space" is every bit as good as we dreamed it would be. It seems a little remiss to be talking about a potential children's picture book of the year but if this isn't in the running we'll be sending Rex and his warbots along to find out why not!

Charlotte's best bit: Rex's followup to the warbot. More terrifying than you could possibly imagine!

Daddy's favourite bit: So much detail, an art style to die for, and a brilliant sweeping space opera of a story that makes you practically want to hug the book with glee. Oh and yes the calculator bits made me grin from ear to ear Mr Duddle, thank you for those :)

(Kindly sent to us for review by Templar Publishing)