Author: Tammi Sauer
Illustrator: Gorō Fujita
Published: August 4, 2015 by Sterling Children’s Books
Summary: When a little boy meets a stranded alien child, the two instantly strike up a fabulous friendship. They go to school, explore the neighborhood, and have lots of fun. But at bedtime, the alien suddenly grows very, very sad. Can the boy figure out what his new buddy needs most of all? This funny, heartwarming story proves that friends and family are the most important things in the universe . . . no matter who or where you are.
Ricki’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This charming story hooked me from the very first page. Books are rarely written in second person point-of-view, and I am always intrigued by this stylistic choice. I’d love to have students write their own stories in the second person point-of-view. This would offer valuable discussions about the power of POV and why authors might intentionally use this in their writing. Beyond considering the point-of-view, I also enjoyed thinking about the several, implicit themes. This is a story about friendship and about family. However, it is also a story about homesickness. I can imagine that this would be a great story for kids to read when they go off to camp. Teachers might also read this book to a class if students are considering keeping a wild animal, which may be missing its natural home and a habitat. While the main character wants to keep the alien, it has a different home. I suspect that teachers and parents can find a variety of clever ways to integrate this book into their units. The illustrations are captivating, and I suspect that students will fall in love with the story.
Kellee’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I love the little boy and the alien in this book! They are both so cute and sweet. I was impressed with the story which is much deeper than it looks, and the illustrations are so full and colorful. Like Ricki, I am completely intrigued by the point-of-view of the book. The second person point-of-view really makes the reader become invested in the story. I’ve only read novels in second person, so this is a wonderful addition to the picture book world. In addition to the themes Ricki discussed, I think it is also a discussion about sometimes not being able to keep/get everything you want and sometimes you have to say good bye to those you love. The book also has a perfect plot arc with an easy to discuss conflict and resolution. Would be a good introduction to this element of narratives as well as characterization and point of view. This book is going to be a read aloud favorite and is going to start a lot of important discussions.
Discussion Questions: Why was the alien sad? Have you ever been sad for a similar reason?; Do you think the main character made the right choice? Would you have made the same choice?; Why is the book written in second person point-of-view? How does this enhance your reading of the story?
We Flagged: “One day, you’ll be looking out your window when something wonderful comes your way… and you will want to keep him.”
**Thank you to Lauren at Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. for providing copies for review and for the giveaway!**