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The Worst Band in the Universe
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The Worst Band in the Universe

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 31st 1999 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 16, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an amazing, almost overwhelming book. The illustrations are mind-boggling as are all of the new words and vocabulary that somehow seem to make perfect sense. The book is one long song/poem with a rhyming text that flows easily, but is awfully long. We could only read a couple pages at a time, but it only served to extend our enjoyment of this story. The accompanying CD has 25 minutes of songs on it that are catchy, funky and fun. I like the overall message of the story, about the importa ...more
Wow...I was impressed before, but now I think Mr. Base must be one of the most talented people on Earth. He wrote this rhyming story of epic proportions, illustrated it AND wrote and recorded the music. The artwork for this one deals completely with fictional alien characters (as opposed to the animals that I'm used to seeing), but the pictures are still ridiculously intricate and lovely. My only complaint is that the story itself is very long - only a problem if trying to share it with a little ...more
D.A. Cairns
Apr 11, 2012 D.A. Cairns rated it really liked it
A very different and clever book aimed at year 5/6 children but obviously able to be enjoyed by adults like me.

The book is amazingly illustrated and tells the tale of a young alien musician who lives on a planet where musical innovation is illegal. It is written in rhyming prose and it isn't short so to maintain the rhyming couplets and make them interesting and funny was impressive.

This book is quite hard to read because of the unusual sentence structure, quite sophisticated vocabulary and the
Jun 09, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. Grame Base is a a genius. I remember that he wrote this book called the eleventh hour that i read years ago and i loved it. So I recognized his name and bought this book at a stoop sale in Brooklyn, NY. This book comes with a cd that i've yet to listen to but the story and the message are dead on. Every young musician should be given this book as a present. Frank Zappa somewhere is cheering.
May 22, 2011 Danna rated it it was amazing
I sailed the Nostalgia Sea this weekend, revisiting my Graeme Base collection before giving it away. Lovely books, and time for them to be passed on to a new soon-to-be reader. Welcome to the world little Benjamin! I'm happy to be your Auntie.
King Haddock
Feb 03, 2010 King Haddock rated it it was amazing
As a musician and fanatic composer, reading a science fiction about the importance of creative composition really excited me. Definitely a favorite. :)
May 11, 2009 Eli rated it it was amazing
Possibly the greatest story ever told.
Jan 27, 2014 Elizabeth is currently reading it
Not sure why this is cataloged with the chapter books instead of the picture books, but this way I can remember where to find it. Though I will say it's pretty long for a picture book.
Hannah Delaughter
This amazing science fiction picture book is about a young alien named Sprocc who is also a musician. His planet only allows traditional music that has been passed down and looks down upon Sprocc's kind of music. This nearly gets him kicked out of his planet. Even though he wasn't kicked out, he decides to go to a different planet and meet new friends. When he meets new people, he learns about a competition that is called, "The Worst Band in the Universe." He won the competition and met more fr ...more
Meredith Estes
Sep 16, 2016 Meredith Estes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brooke-books
Graeme Base is one of my favorite artists and authors. We have many of his books and love them all. This was different from his others in that it wasn't animals, however, it was just as satisfying. He is so great at developing whole worlds so richly. This was no exception. I studied the illustrations just as hard as I do with every one of his books.
Author/Illustrator: Graeme Base
First Published: 1999
Extras: No CD, paperback.

Beautifully illustrated, unusual picture book, focussing on music. Humorous and clever with a rhyming narrative that encourages reading aloud as well as Base's typically lush illustrations. Without the expected puzzles the reader is left to simply enjoy the imagery and poetry.


A book that will appeal to and challenge young boys, but not so gender-specific it rules out the other half.

Read Aloud: 7+
Read Yourself: 9+

Sep 09, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: intermediate, jr-high
This would be a very fun read-aloud book, even in middle years, to introduce the idea of innovation and change in society. Like all Base books, the lyric style is fun and his names for creatures are a riot to read out loud. It would be interesting to have a discussion starting with musical innovation (e.g. what's new and how does it build on existing styles and trends) and then to spin off into science, business, policy, etc.
Aug 30, 2014 Min rated it really liked it
Rhyming couplets lend an air of the epic to this musical tale of freedom of expression. A saga of the individual against the machinations of Tradition and Rules. The lone seeker plays his own tune.
What lends greater power to it, is that there is a soundtrack! Performed by Graeme Base himself. Honestly, rather catchy tunes. I'm quite fond of W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G.
Sep 28, 2009 Curtis rated it really liked it
It is a children's book - a fairly long children's book - but I really like. When it is Amos' bedtime and he doesn't want to go to bed he always picks this book for me to read to him because he knows it will take a long time to get through it.
Jeevan Panesar
Oct 25, 2015 Jeevan Panesar rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the most creative works of sci-fi. From the rhyming verse of the story, the stunning illustrations, and the well-produced accompanying album, Graeme Base makes this a tour de force of delight and wonder for both kids and adults.
Dec 29, 2008 Tish rated it really liked it
This is all Amos will listen to these days. It's a great read aloud book because of the great rhythm and funky words. It's about music, so that's a big bonus for Curt. I love listening to them read together!
Nov 11, 2013 Paitsgreekgirl rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing, mind-boggling book. This is not just a children's book. Graeme Base is a genius. The poetic rhythm of his writing, the creative illustrations, and the cosmic musical score impressed me beyond words. I can't wait to share this with my granddaughters.
Oct 31, 2016 TheTinFoilHatter rated it liked it
It's Graeme Base, so it's as good as you'd expect. But this one didn't do much for me, the alien designs look pretty bad and it's hard to define why I didn't like the story.
But that's me bitching, it's far from a bad book and you'll probably enjoy it.
Gabriel Davis
It is second only to WALL.E in terms of sci-fi social commentary that a child can understand. I don't know why the tyrant would have a problem with new music, but lots of tyrants have similar inexplicable problems with harmless things
Sep 24, 2014 Garren rated it liked it
This is the most METAL children's picture book I've seen. It's about various aliens fighting oppressive interstellar authorities through the POWER OF MUSIC.

Imagine me air guitar-ing for the remaining 30 seconds of this review.
Joanna C
May 30, 2016 Joanna C rated it it was amazing
I liked how the whole story was a poem (rhymetry). I also liked the art. I liked the story because I was about space and aliens I liked the happy ending.
Suzi Sherman
Jul 19, 2013 Suzi Sherman rated it it was amazing
Comes with CD which is just as awesome as the book!
Oct 14, 2008 Cana rated it it was ok
Mommy says: It was OK, but too text heavy for the 3 & 5 yo set.
Jo Miller-frost
Nov 26, 2007 Jo Miller-frost rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
LOVE this book -- we wore out our first copy and CD. Kids love it too. Go out and get it now.
N_maryellen Rosenblum
Oct 18, 2010 N_maryellen Rosenblum rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I found this book to be a more child-friendly version of 'The Giver'. Explored many of the same themes.
Kathleen Dixon
Aug 20, 2014 Kathleen Dixon rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I found this book predictable, and didn't like the illustrations. A shame, because I've really liked some of his other work.
Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2010
Melissa Mandra
Melissa Mandra rated it liked it
Mar 03, 2013
Westcoast_girl rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Broughps rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2016
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Graeme Rowland Base is a successful Australian author and artist of picture books that have been sold internationally. He is perhaps best known for his second book, Animalia published in 1986, and third book The Eleventh Hour which was released in 1989.
He was born in England but moved to Australia with his family at the age of eight and has lived there ever since. He attended Box Hill High School
More about Graeme Base...

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