Compton Valance: The Most Powerful Boy in the Universe
The trend for highly decorated fiction for younger readers shows no signs of slowing down and if Usborne's latest offering is anything to go by the illustrations are getting more intertwined with the text, the books are getting bolder and bigger and the stories are getting sillier. Radio DJ and TV presenter Matt Brown's bonkers debut plays with form and timelines almost to the brink of confusion. It will take a fairly sophisticated reader to keep up!
Our eponymous hero (really the names throughout should be applauded) Compton Valance has kept a terrible sandwich in his bag for far too long. It's gone horrifically mouldy but has somehow managed to grow time-travelling properties amongst the furry green culture. Mayhem ensues for the reader, Compton, his best friend Bryan Nylon, his father who may or may not be dressed as woman and ultimately the history of life on Earth when the boys accidentally wipe out dinosaurs with a wildly misjudged custard cream.
Burglaries happen and don't happen, there's lots of fizzing and vanishing, a bit of bullying and some maniacal laughing. The time line is difficult to track but with all this tom-foolery afoot it probably doesn't matter. Brown's authorial asterisks denote (sort-of) helpful reminders. More madness follows with book two later in the year.