Squidge Dibley destroys everything by Mick Elliott
Lothian Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780734419460. 174pp.
(Age: 8-12) Squidge Dibley has amazing powers to invent things plus fight evil. In this novel the crazy exploits are told via his best friend Padman. They are in 6UP at Craglands South Primary and have an eccentric teacher who appreciates all her class' unique personalities and behaviours. The comical class characters have strange habits, eg. Shane who bites his toenails and Nathan who eats paint. The Principal of their school, Hoovesly, has been demoted to janitor and puts a dastardly plan for revenge into action. He particularly has 6UP in his sights but his plan also involves robotic head lice which will take over the town and all its inhabitants. 6UP must stop him and this involves underground bunkers, tunnels and sewerage. The plot rolls from one outrageous thing to another. As Padman says near the end of the book, "off-the-scale weird".
There is no subtlety or nuance in this novel. It is just plain entertainment. Squidge Dibley destroys everything is one in a series of illustrated books pitched at a primary aged audience who like farts, poop, butts and burps. There is quite definitely a place for these humorous stories because they get kids reading, much like the Captain Underpants or Tom Gates series. There are fun cartoon style illustrations on every page and these are integral to the action. The design is highly marketable and smart.