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King of Space

King of Space

4.0 1
by Jonny Duddle
The universe is about to be conquered . . .by a six year old.

Rex may look like an average six-year-old, living on his parents’ moog farm and going to mini intergalactic citizen school, but he knows he’s destined to become . . . the King of Space! With the help of his unsuspecting friends, Rex begins his conquest of the known worlds. And when he


The universe is about to be conquered . . .by a six year old.

Rex may look like an average six-year-old, living on his parents’ moog farm and going to mini intergalactic citizen school, but he knows he’s destined to become . . . the King of Space! With the help of his unsuspecting friends, Rex begins his conquest of the known worlds. And when he goes too far, only one person can save him from the wrath of the Galactic Alliance — Mom!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Rex works on great plans after he does chores on his family's Moog farm—think cows floating around with oxygen face masks and milk tanks strapped to their backs on a small moon in the Gamma Quadrant. Not content to live his life on a farm cleaning up moog poop or doing other farm chores, Rex plans to conquer the universe and proclaim himself the King of Space. When he tells his class about his plans they all laugh at him, but he is not deterred. He builds a robot that crushes other kid's robots; he calls it a warbot and intends for it to help him conquer the universe. With his friend Xarg's help, Rex equips his warbot with special features like dungbuster and then crushes all resistance in the Western Spiral. But the people of the universe are not pleased with Rex's plans and call him a naughty boy. He kidnaps Princess Kooki, setting the Galactic Alliance on his trail. They catch up to him when he is reeling the moogs in for the night, and he decides he does not want to play anymore. Rex's mom tells the Alliance to take back the princess and go home, which they do. Having learned that his mom will solve any messes he makes, Rex's next plan is to build a robot to help make school lunches better. A silly story with silly illustrations, this story will be a big hit with children who think stupendous thoughts. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—In this wild sci-fi picture book, scheming Rex lives with his family on a moog farm situated on a moon in the Gamma Quadrant. The six-year-old tricks his alien pal, Blip, into helping him build a "Dastardly Dung-Ray" and into equipping Rex's warbots with dung blasters. With these inventions, Rex crushes the Western Spiral resistance and crowns himself King of Space. The action intensifies when Emperor Bob and the Galactic Alliance decide to teach Rex a lesson. The diabolical child counters by kidnapping the emperor's daughter. With tension escalating, Rex confesses his misdeeds to his parents, and, surprisingly, his mother steps in to end the chaos. Duddle has crafted a far-out plot with many twists and turns. The text is scattered within the full-color digital artwork that is similar to his work in his pirate stories. Rich in details, the dark illustrations range from one expansive four-page spread, to double pages, and to multiple comic-book cells on single pages. The art is as inventive as the plot and firmly establishes the outer-space setting. Hilarious moogs appear as cows wearing space gear, and images of Rex's alien classmates reflect the depth of Duddle's creative mind. This action-packed story, starring a naughty boy, is one that readers will not soon forget.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Sick of his status as an intergalactic dung-shoveler, a young boy makes plans to become the King of Space. Here is another variant on the boy-dreams-of-ruling-the-universe tale, with little tweaks here and there to make it Duddle's own, but it's threadbare in terms of originality. Rex lives in the Gamma Quadrant on a moog (cows in spacesuits) farm. He might be a futuristic cowherd now, but he has something else in mind. He cons a friend of his into helping him build warbots and a Dastardly Dung Ray to make good his King of Space scheme. He subdues the Western Spiral and then crowns himself, which brings down the wrath of the Galactic Alliance. After Rex kidnaps the daughter of the emperor, the Alliance corners Rex, who gives up and lets his mother save his bacon. Yes, all of this is told with tongue in cheek, but Rex is really a schmuck. He lies to his friend, wastes part of the galaxy, kidnaps a girl (and demeans her: "Would my future queen like some choco-goo? Would you? Huh?"), then cravenly throws the disaster in his mother's lap. Story aside--but then, what's the point?--Duddle's artwork beguiles in a way that Rex never will, with highly inventive deep-space creatures in the steampunk mode, minus the steam. With a hero so devoid of sympathy, this story sinks despite the buoyancy of its splendid illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.30(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)
AD680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jonny Duddle was a concept artist for Aardman Animations’ feature film The Pirates! Band of Misfits, starring Hugh Grant. He has also written two popular picture books, The Pirate Cruncher and the best-selling The Pirates Next Door, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2012. He lives in Wales with his wife and their two little girls.

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King of Space 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Scudfergy More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the fun, funny and creative story that was portrayed in this book. I found it n the shelf, read it and knew right then that it would be a story that I would enjoy reading to my kids. It is a little difficult to read aloud in a group of kids with varied ages, but this is most likely due to their attention span, and the length of the story. That said, I would not recommend it for the 2-4 year old range. Nevertheless, this book was a welcome addition to my library, and it's laugh-out-loud jokes definitely will have me reading it again.