Friday 10 March 2017

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 10th March 2017 - "Evil Emperor Penguin Strikes Back" by Laura Ellen Anderson (David Fickling Books)

He's black (and white, and sort of orangey) he's mean, and he kicks butt! Our esteemed Book of the Week this week is, of course, "Evil Emperor Penguin Strikes Back" by Laura Ellen Anderson...
I say "of course" because it was searingly inevitable that Laura Ellen Anderson's second collection of EEP stories was duty-bound for the Book of the Week slot the minute we extracted it, like a delicate nugget of the purest precious metal, from its envelope.

(Actually that's not quite how things really happen, Charlotte only needs to spot a DFB sticker on the outside of an envelope and she does a fairly good impression of Wolverine to get at the contents - thankfully without damaging them!)

Evil Emperor Penguin, for the one or two molluscs who haven't yet discovered A) The Phoenix Comic (What is WRONG WITH YOU!! GET THAT SORTED RIGHT NOW!) and B) the Evil Emperor Penguin strips written and illustrated by Laura (What is WRONG WITH YOU!! GET THAT SORTED RIGHT NOW!) is possibly the world's most evil sentient being with flippers and a beak.

Throughout this glorious second collection of stories hewn from the strips in the comic, Evil Emperor Penguin along with his cohorts the ever-present and polite butler Number 8, and the world's cutest minion Eugene (who Charlotte sighs about every single time she spots him in the strip) attempts to take over the world with nought but his superior intellect, lots of crazy plans and the odd can or two of spaghetti hoops.

Thwarted by extreme bad luck, inept minions, oddly charismatic pink unicorns called Keith and a certain feline arch-nemesis, Evil Emperor Penguin is hilariously funny but (as is the case with a certain christmas strip that appears in this second volume) sometimes oddly bittersweet and touching.

Laura says that most of her favourite strips appear in this second volume, and that's a durned good reason to pick up a copy and see what all the fuss is about.

After all, you wouldn't want to miss out on this little fellah would you?

Charlotte's best bit: Any stories involving Eugene (and the other minions, who bear a striking resemblance to certain other members of the Phoenix comic team!)

Daddy's favourite bit: Proof positive that funny can be smart, and that Laura is at the top of her game constantly producing the most brilliantly funny and endearing characters in the Phoenix. This collection ROCKS!

"Evil Emperor Penguin Strikes Back" by Laura Ellen Anderson is out now, published by David Fickling Books (kindly supplied for review)