Mick Elliott, Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy, Lothian Children’s Books, November 2019, 173 pp, RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780734419446
Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy is a crazy fun-filled story of adventure and mayhem narrated by Paddy O’Donnell, Squidge Dibley’s best friend. Paddy, or Pod as he is known, feels compelled to accurately document the out-of-the-ordinary (mis)adventures in which he and his equally wacky group of friends from class 6P Craglands South Primary South find themselves. The impetus for this record keeping is to ensure Squidge does not get blamed for resultant outlandish circumstances – on this occasion, during their excursion to Space Camp. However, without Squidge Dibley and his extraordinary skills, their time at Space Camp would have had a very different outcome.
Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy is as enjoyable visually as it is to read. Elliott has used the text playfully to emphasise some rather preposterous situations, and it works so well. When the clever cartoon-style illustrations are combined with the highlighted text, it makes for a fast-paced story that all ages will enjoy – even the grown-ups.
Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy is the second book in this new series by Mick Elliott about this lovable, if not strange, character and follows on from Squidge Dibley Destroys the School which I haven’t had the opportunity to read as yet. For those who enjoy the Squidge Dibley books, Elliott is also the author of The Turners.
Sometimes a book needs to be about fun – escapist, laugh out loud, craziness – and this is exactly what Elliott has given us with Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy. Of course, there is a positive outcome in Squidge Dibley Destroys the Galaxy which focusses so very nicely on friendship, acceptance and optimism when the odds seemed stacked against us. But there are no underlying life-lessons hidden within the story or complex messages about navigating human relationships. This book is about mad moments and highly unlikely situations delivered with playfulness, imagination and remarkable cartoon-style illustrations – a really good read.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors