Title: The Worst Band in the Universe ***SIGNED***
Publisher: Abrams, NY
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Illustrator: Graeme Base
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed and Dated By Author on the Full Title Page
Edition: 1st American Edition.
First American Edition. Signed, without inscription, and dated by author on the FULL title page. Includes CD. Top of spine lightly bruised. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box. Check our inventory for additional Graeme Base signed titles. Bookseller Inventory # 001686
Synopsis: Castigated for defying tradition and playing an original tune on his Splingtwanger, thirteen-year-old Sprocc leaves Planet Bipp in search of musical freedom and enters the annual Worst Band in the Universe Competition. Includes a CD of songs supposedly recorded by the bands in the story.
Review: Australian author and illustrator Graeme Base's books are all musical, but The Worst Band in the Universe (with its accompanying 25-minute CD) clearly trumpets the loudest... in a Blippian sort of way. Like The Eleventh Hour, The Sign of the Seahorse, and Animalia, Worst Band takes place in a nonhuman context, this time in a dystopian planetary system far from Earth.
The premise is this: Sprocc, expert at the guitarlike splingtwanger, has the creative itch to write songs. But alas, his planet, Blipp, has strict creative rules about music. All songs must come directly from tradition, so Sprocc's desire to "call the tune... or else forsake the stage" leads to his exile from Blipp and a variety of galactic run-ins with authority. This includes the "Worst Band in the Universe" contest which, of course, is actually a best band contest that takes him deeper into dismal realms. Sprocc sharpens his musical delivery, hooks up with another long-time Blipp exile, and eventually the planet is freed from the rigorous creative restrictions with a mix of innovation and tradition.
In the tangle of rhyming couplets and fantastical illustrations is plenty of food for thought. On a purely musical level, The Worst Band in the Universe is an instructive volume, complete with a CD of Blippian music. It's a profound creation, conjured so that its ingredients will reward scrutiny. (Ages 7 and older) --Andrew Bartlett
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