Worst in Show is the newest picture book from a favorite of mine, William Bee, this time illustrated by the marvelous Kate Hindley. With Worst in Show Bee substitutes hairy, hideous monsters for pure bred dogs groomed to within an inch of their life. The juxtaposition is perfect, as are Hindley's magnificently detailed illustrations. There is so much to look at on every page, from the competitive monsters to the white-coated judges to television monitors that show the scoring for each competition. While I love William Bee's illustrations, Kate Hindley is the perfect illustrator for this story!
Albert is the proud owner of Sidney, his pet monster. In fact, Albert thinks that Sidney is the best pet monster in the whole world and has decided to enter him in THE BEST PET MONSTER IN THE WORLD competition, which is televised! A very serious event, many enter but only a few will win.
Round after round (there are 5 in all) Sidney goes up against some very tough opponents. "Hairiest Warts," "Highest Hover," "Most Parasites," "Smelliest Fart" and "Hottest Breath," - every time Sidney seems to fall short of the criteria. He's scared of heights, his parasites are few and only stopping by for a visit, and, well, his farts are weak and have a "sugary whiff" because of the diet of frosted cookies and cupcakes Sidney lives off. Albert thinks to himself, "GOODNESS, THE EMBARRASSMENT!" But Sidney always seems to have a smile on his face. Thinking they have lost for sure, Albert and Sidney head off stage as the awards are handed out, but are stopped before they leave. A fantastic four page fold-out spread reveals a delighted Sidney and slightly confuddled Albert as he is awarded the prize for "WORST IN SHOW." Even though he is the worst of the best, Albert decides that it is better to have a "BIG, CUDDLY LOVABLE . . . BEST FRIEND,*" rather than the best in show. And, as the asterisk tells us, Albert is pretty pleased with the way Sidney smell!
More books by William Bee -
illustrated by Cecilia Johnson
Source: Review Copy