by Margaret McNamara
illustrated by Mark Fearing
Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2011. 36 pages.
There’s a nice tradition of three little pigs take-offs in picture books. My favorite is still The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizias and Helen Oxenbury, but another fabulous choice is The Three Pigs, by David Wiesner, which won the Caldecott Medal. At our library, a recent summer reading favorite was The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark, by Ken Geist and Julia Gorton, and this book is in that vein.
The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot is simply fun. From the beginning, it makes me want to read it aloud:
Once there was a mama alien who had three little aliens. They were called Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz.
Mama sends them off into the universe to find a planet of their own (but urges them to call every once in awhile), but she warns them to beware of the Big Bad Robot.
Where this book will especially please young outer space buffs is when the little aliens go looking for a home. They pass all the planets in our solar system. The artist uses coloration from NASA photographs, and though the Author’s Note at the end does make no claims that this is a science book, they did try to portray the planets as accurately as possible.
Now, never mind that they are going at the speed of light, yet the Big Bad Robot keeps gaining on them. Never mind that the sizes of the aliens and planets are all out of proportion. This is a fun story with cute aliens, and a nice message: Always stick together.
And it’s fun to read aloud! Here’s the part where the little aliens are together, being confronted by the Big Bad Robot:
No sooner had Bork and Gork slammed Nklxwcyz’s solid space-rock door than they heard the Robot rumbling.
“Little alien! Little alien!” he queeked. “LET ME COME IN!”
“Not by the slime on my chinny chin chin!” cried Nklxwcyz.
“Then I will smack and crack and whack your house down!” zeeped the Robot.
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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.