The King of Space

Jonny Duddle. Candlewick/Templar, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6435-0
Duddle (The Pirates Next Door) has an imagination that works overtime and the drafting skills to render in gleaming detail any spaceship, robot, or weapon he can dream up. While Rex, the hero of this story, lacks certain social charms—he’s manipulative, power hungry, and a poor listener—he is undeniably focused and ambitious. Rex successfully executes a complex plan to become King of Space, designing a lethal squad of warbots (complete with dung-blasters), subduing resistance in the rest of the universe, and kidnapping his rival’s daughter, Princess Kooki—who’s the first person to say “no” to the pint-size tyrant. “Rex,” she says, “you really don’t know how to woo a princess.” Duddle’s jam-packed spreads range from outer-space classrooms to interstellar warfare. Although things look pretty grim for Rex at the height of the action (“Ooooh, Rex—You look just like the evil leader of the invasion fleet!” squeals his mother, who’s watching the nightly news broadcast), aid from an unexpected quarter bails him out. A manic, testosterone-fueled adventure for basement tinkerers everywhere. Ages 3–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 03/12/2013
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