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SPACEBOY: The epic and funny new children’s book from multi-million bestselling author David Walliams

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Lots of illustrations, plenty of silliness, and a great layout will appeal even to reluctant readers. As much as they try to escape (riding ostriches, rolling in giant transparent balls, running in the desert, or sliding in craters), Ruth, Spaceboy, and Yuri end up in a top-secret US military base, caught by the faceless figures who happen to be soldiers in special costumes. Schock's plan is to launch a rocket before the Russians, who are supposed to launch theirs in a few days. This book has various examples of onomatopoeia and vocabulary which could extend the narrative writing of young students and provides links to 1960s history and brief information about space.

Still, the story did have heart and my son enjoyed my dramatic reading even if it was all a bit tiresome for me. It is the early 1960's and on a little farm Ruth and her little dog Yuri dream of the excitement of the space race and getting away from her awful aunt Dorothy.I was glad to see the historical context of the book, a bit of history there for readers, and Walliams actually reins in some of the usual silliness with no Raj or disgusting lunch menus. They try to grab Ruth, Kevin, and Yuri, but the children decide that it is not worth staying on Planet Earth.

I had to look up other books by David Wallace, and next on our bookshelves is GANGSTA GRANNY and CODE NAME BANANAS. There is a silliness to it but also a depth as both Ruth and Spaceboy have a parent-guardian who abuses them verbally on a daily bases.Most of David Walliams’ books are set in present time and in England whereas this book was set in 1960’s USA. Schock, a half-human-half-robot scientist who used to build rockets for the Führer and was offered a deal by the Americans after the war: he would not go to trial if he worked on the US space programme. Adam Stower is the new illustrator for Walliams’s books and this is my second one by him after The World’s Worst Pets.

A mysterious figure in a shiny silver spacesuit, boots, gloves, cape and mirrored helmet, Spaceboy speaks in a spooky voice, his face completely hidden behind his helmet. It's always the same with the whole flying saucer crashing in a cornfield- But I don't get why the whole twist was added: to me, it just ruined the whole story. His debut children's novel, The Boy in the Dress, was published in 2008 to unanimous critical acclaim and he has since developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. As soon as Ruth rescues Spaceboy from the flaming flying saucer, helicopters piloted by faceless figures fly above the farm, trying to catch the alien. At times I felt like I was reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, but Walliams definitely has his own signature on his work and Dahl, while clearly a strong influence, is not channelled.And so, when a blazing flying saucer shoots across the sky one night, Ruth dashes out from behind her telescope to find out more. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. I haven't particularly recommended a Walliams book before due to the questionable characters and themes but I would say this one is worth a read! Ruth’s world is turned upside down when a flying saucer crash lands on the farm, and she meets Spaceboy, the mysterious occupant of the exotic vessel.

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