If you’re on a trek for a picture book that is out of this world, look no further than Your Alien by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Goro Fujita. It’s stellar, imaginative, and delivers a heartwarming message about the importance of family and friends. Set your intergalactic spaceships to launch and prepare for PB gush blast off!
Synopsis: When an alien lands outside a boy’s bedroom window, boy and alien become instant friends. The boy and his new alien have an exciting day making memories at school and at home. But come bedtime, the boy senses that the alien is homesick for his family. What does boy do? I couldn’t possibly spoil it. You’ll have to read to find out.
My favorite part of this PB is the message: there’s nothing more important than family and friends. We see this in the close bond boy and alien form and in boy’s mission to reunite alien with his parents. The message shines through gentle and insightful sentences (like “Then you will give your alien a hug. This will make you think about other hugs.”) and through the illustrations of boy taking care of his alien. And alien calling for his “MEEP!” and “OOG!” I can’t even handle the sweetness!
As a PB writer, I LOVE the ample room Sauer left for Fujita. All PB writers should use this as a mentor text for giving the illustrator space to get creative. Most illustrations don’t directly match the words. In fact, the words hardly ever dictate the illustrations. If you were to look at just the text, you couldn’t guess what’s pictured. One of my favorite examples shows alien eating a sofa cushion along with the sentences: “You’ll try to share your casserole and peas. But your alien will have other ideas.”
I’m a huge fan of Tammi Sauer’s PBs, so I gravitated toward this book at the speed of light. Fujita’s humorous and warm illustrations capture the spirit of the words perfectly. Your Alien is a joyful, bright star of a book to snuggle up with. No telescope needed!