Thursday, 23 February 2012
Review: Space Lizards Stole My Brain! by Mark Griffiths
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Released: January 5th, 2012
When Admiral Skink, an alien-lizard warlord from the planet Swerdlix, is attacked by The Hideous and Unimaginably Vast Comet Creature of Poppledock he faces a certain death...but luckily his underlings have installed the BrainTwizzler 360 Mind Migration SystemTM. This nifty invention safely transfers Skink's mind on to a memory wafer and jettisons it through space to find a suitable temporary "home" until he can be rescued by his fellow Swerdlixians. Unluckily for eleven-year-old Lance Spratley it just so happens that the temporary home for Admiral Skink's mind is his body! And while Skink deals with being trapped in Lance's useless body - it can't even breathe fire! -- Lance is transferred to a virtual waiting room surrounded by the lizard race who seem intent on destroying Earth when they have successfully retrieved Skink. Will Lance ever get his body back? And even if he does will he be able to thwart Admiral Skink and the Swerdlixians plans to invade Earth...
Space Lizards Stole My Brain! is a great addition to younger children's fiction - it's bonkers! It's a book that would make a brilliant children's TV show (animated, of course) chronicling the adventures of human Lance Spratley and Swerdlixian lizard ruler Admiral Skink.
This book is all about brain swapping, though it happens through less than usual means. Admiral Skink's starship is destroyed, the Braintwizzler 360 system is fired up and voila, Admiral Skink swaps minds with Lance! Hilarity ensues, of course - Skink doesn't understand the human world and all it's many customs, and Lance just hasn't got a clue what's happened to him and why he's in a strange place surrounded by weird giant lizards. It must all be very traumatising for the poor boy, though preferable to his rather slave-like home life!
There's a lovely clever little pet iguana called Pickles who makes an appearance, as well as a real live Triceratops (eek!), numerous mankind-hating Swerdlixians, an addiction to auction sites and something called an ARGH. Just your run-of-the-mill alien story really... minus the dinosaur, of course!
I think children aged 7+ will really enjoy this, both boys and girls thanks to the two main characters Lance and Tori. And, as if that wasn't enough, Space Lizards Stole My Brain! is also fully illustrated by Pete Williamson! He's my favourite children's illustrator and successfully works his magic on this book. Honestly, I've never seen lizards looking like this. Yikes! Look out for the sequel later in the year, which I believe is called Space Lizards Ate My Sister! Uh-oh!