Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mungo and the Spiders from Space by Timothy Knapman and Adam Stower - review

Mungo and the Spiders from Space by Timothy Knapman and Adam Stower
Well, looks like Your Neighborhood Librarian has a new artist boyfriend. Sigh. The beginning of a relationship is always so magical, n'est pas? My previous secret husbands of children's illustration have included Adam Rex, William Joyce, and Oliver Jeffers (who gets extra points for being Irish). Plus Antoinette Portis and Emily Gravett.* I have no gender hangups.

I read and enjoyed Two Left Feet when it came out, but I don't think I reviewed it. I remember liking the artist's strong but delicate line, old-timey fashion sense, and bangin' colors, all of which Mungo and the Spiders from Space has, times twenty. It has a steampunk vibe, very like Chris Riddell's work, but more energetic. My colleague TinkerCinderBelleAhontas finds it busy, but that's just because her son is still a baby and they like soft colors and one visual idea per page. Which is cool. But my sons, my boys who are 6 and 7? Jeez, my sons craaaave "busy". They want extra bonus cartoons, they want books within books. They want trompe-l'œil effects and they want marginalia and detail-alia and backgroundalia and illustrated endpapers and extra jokes on the back cover.

All of which, not coincidentally, Mungo and the Spiders from Space - has. Plus: a plot that keeps the reader hanging, slime, goop, a butt joke, and robots. Sigh. It's love, in point of fact.

Think I'll go gaze at the cover of The Shadow World for a little while.

*And David Roberts and Marla Frazee and David Shannon and Kadir Nelson and LeUyen Pham and a few others...

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