Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman

Published: 7th May 2019Goodreads badge
Henry Holt and Co.
Illustrator: Heather Fox
Pages: 40
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

What happens when you mix one hungry llama, a big pile of cake and a whole lot of dancing? Get ready to party, because the end of the world is nigh…

This a laugh out loud book which I can attest too as I handed it around at work and watched staff members cover their mouths in an attempt to stifle their unexpected outburst of laughter and not disrupt the entire library. The story is divine, the language is divine, the illustrations are divine. It’s simple, it’s weird, and it’s perfection.

I initially thought this was going to be like The Very Hungry Caterpillar but I was so very wrong. Stutzman has found the sweet spot where humour and story combine and has the right combination of proper narrative, and whatever makes things a hundred times funnier when said with a touch of absurd, surreal nonsense.

The joy of reading this comes from the formatting as well as the story. The tone Stutzman has used as well as the pages containing only one sentence or only a few sentences means you are forced to stop and pause which adds some magnitude. It’s the pace that you read this which makes it quite matter of fact and quite serious, there is a countdown of days as we know what is going to happen (the world ending), we just aren’t sure of how just yet.

The illustrations are fabulous. The expression on Llama’s face, the simple yet telling pictures of cake and world destruction are delightful. There is no need for overly complicated detail or depictions. Fox captures the mood and the disaster, and she does so while embodying Stutzman’s tone. She also beautifully captures the simple, majestic delight that is Llama. I also need to take a moment to thank Fox for immortalising the image of Llama and his groovy butt as he dances in his dancing pants. For that I thank you.

I have already read this book three times and I never tire of it. It’s unexpected, it’s a fairly fast read which works wonderfully for the style Stutzman has gone for in his writing, and the humour is constant. I love Llama and everything he represents.

You can purchase Llama Destroys the World via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

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