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The worst book ever
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Elise Gravel wants to write a totally drab book; her characters want to let loose. Who's gonna win?Don't take the title as a metaphor: it really is the worst book ever. Governor General Literary Award winning children's book author and illustrator Elise Gravel takes readers on an unexpected journey through the world's most boring book. The story's characters and omniscient readers alike quickly become annoyed by the author's bland imagination and rebel against her tired tropes and stale character choices, spouting sass in an attempt to get her attention and steer the narrative in a more interesting direction. After all, you don't even have to buy the book, but the characters? They?re stuck in there for an eternity, and they're going to do their best to make the most of it, or at least have a little fun where they can.As the charming and bizarre true nature of the characters overpowers the dry attributes given to them by the author, this once blasé story quickly picks up speed, transforming the story into something much more unique than originally promised. With Gravel's signature goofy characters behind the wheel, no silly twist or rude body function is off the table!
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Booklist Review
Flawlessly executing the title's bold claim, Gravel has, indeed, created the worst book ever but in this case, it's a good thing. Tired (sometimes sexist) tropes, misspellings, food crumbs, deliberately poor illustrations, lags in plot, terrible dialogue it's all hilariously there, pointed out by an increasingly exasperated trio of creatures who serve as a combination Greek chorus and peanut gallery. The layout is such that the unfortunate princess story unfolds in full-page illustrated panels on the left of each spread, while the commentary-spouting characters (a pink blob, a spikey black splotch on legs, and a spider) appear on an otherwise blank page to the right. Fairy-tale protagonists Prinsess Barbarotte and Prinse Putrick resemble uncooked hotdogs, and Barbarotte does a lot of waiting around while Putrick seeks adventure until he rides back in to save the day ( Come on, Barborette! It's not 1850! You don't need a man to save you! ). This goofy satire will work best with an audience that has storytelling basics under its belt though it's unabashed silliness will tickle readers of all ages.--Julia Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist
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