Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kiddie Scifi books

It's been a long time since I reported on Kiddie Sci-Fi books that we've read.  I'm certain I've missed some, but here are the highlights of what I remember.
Green Wilma:  Frog in Space by Tedd Arnold was definitely an amusing one.  The meter was easy and helped the story flow, and the story was funny to both child and parent.  The premise--that when an alien spacecraft stopped to allow their child to stretch his legs they accidentally beamed a frog back up in his place--created hilarity for all involved.  I liked the humor in the background illustrations as well.  Definitely recommended.

Merry Christmas Space Case by James Marshall is a sequel to Space Case, which was, I believe, the first kiddie scifi book I wrote about.  This book wasn't quite as tongue-in-cheek as the first, and so I didn't enjoy it quite as much.  Zaxxon still enjoyed it though, even though it had been so long that he didn't remember the first book.  The alien returned for Christmas, just as he said he would in the first book.  I didn't really like the bullies in the book (which the alien helped the boy to repel) mainly because Zaxxon is so young that he hasn't encountered bullies yet, and I didn't really want to explain those nuances of childhood to my son.  The main character of the book in in grade school so the book is probably aimed at a slightly older audience--and since I don't have any grade school children yet, I don't know how much longer they read picture books.  At any rate, we both enjoyed the book, but I can't recommend it as enthusiastically as I did the first book.
Our first introduction to Oliver Jeffers was The Great Paper Caper and we decided that he was... weird.  Weird from the illustrations up.  The characters all have little stick legs and noses that make a reddish U-shape that dominates their faces.  The humor is often subtly (or not-so-subtly) adult--for example, in Paper Caper each character explains, by means of an illustration, that s/he has an alibi, and one character's alibi was that he was peeing on a tree.  Not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect in a children's book.  There were no words there, so the kids only saw a character looking at a tree up close, but the parents sure knew what was going on.  Very strange, and the plots are somewhat non-linear as well.  The thing I do like about his stories is the spontaneity and the off-the-wall things that take you by surprise.

The Way Back Home was similar, although not quite as adult.  A boy crash-lands his airplane on the moon, a Martian crashes his space ship, and they have to work together to get home.  It was bizarre, but enjoyable.

No comments: