Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Goro Fujita
(Sterling Children’s Books, 2016)
I took an extended break from this blog and some true book gems didn’t get their due via an impassioned shout-out. One such book was Your Alien, a delightful tale of friendship and goodbye when a boy befriends an alien and everything seems perfect…until the alien becomes homesick. The book was a big hit whenever I’d read it aloud. I easily created an alien voice—a cross between Marvin the Martian and Beaker from The Muppets.
Your Alien Returns allows the opportunity to get back into alien voice for a simple one-word utterance. On this occasion, the alien comes back and the boy ventures to the alien’s terrain with the promise to be back in time for dinner.
Now it’s the boy who must adjust to new customs, new games and a whole bunch of people—er, aliens—who are foreign to him. The connections for kids will be obvious. That time they had a sleepover at Wei Lin’s house, that birthday party for Keith on their baseball team where they didn’t know anyone else, that weekend they spent with their cousins in Tallahassee (or wherever…I just love the name Tallahassee). What do you do when excitement faces a sudden jolt of anxiety?
The book isn’t quite as fun as Your Alien. The cuteness of the alien isn’t such a novelty anymore. Still, how wonderful to take familiar characters and have them deal with, well, the unfamiliar. Track down Your Alien (Sterling Children’s Books, 2015) and follow up a week later with this book. Kids will cheer to see the alien once more.