Nerp! (Sarah Lynne Reul)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Nerp! by Sarah Lynne Reul, a silly twist on the classic dinnertime struggle of picky eater vs. parent.

After helping to feed his pet something the pet clearly deems less than appetizing, a young alien (monster?) sits down to his own meal. Yet no matter what delicious dishes his parents present him with – from “frizzle frazzle hotchy potch” to “verpy gurpalew” – the little one simply turns up his nose and declares, “NERP!” What can his parents do to entice him to eat? Is there any dish this particularly fickle eater will try?

Absurd fun. The alien/monster language used exclusively in the text is a mixture of words easily translated from context (nerp = nope, yerp = yup, etc), and a creative list of ridiculous-sounding meals that are loads of fun to read aloud. The meals themselves are hilariously illustrated to look as unappetizing as the little one seems to find them: one has living tentacles wiggling out of the dish. The alien/monsters themselves are charming and cute, and both picky eaters and exasperated parents will see themselves in the characters’ expressions. The resolution is a little gross – and younger bookworms may need reminding that it’s not actually an acceptable option – but not so much that it turned us off. The length was great, and JJ loved it. A delightfully silly title, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird (Jason Rekulak, Kim Smith & Chris Carter)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird, a new story based on the show and characters by Chris Carter, written by Jason Rekulak, and illustrated by Kim Smith.

Little Fox and Dana are having a camp-out in Dana’s backyard, reading through spooky books (appropriately titled “The X-Files” themselves). Fox is a little more than jumpy, especially about the prospect of an alien sneaking up on their tent. Dana assures him that there’s no chance of this… just as a bright light shines over their tent! Fox is sure it’s aliens, but Dana calms him – it’s only the security floodlight. Then what’s that towering, creepy shadow?! Just Buster the dog sniffing out a squirrel. On it goes, with Fox following mysterious sights and sounds into the woods and Dana gently bringing him back down to earth, until Fox admits that maybe he was perhaps overreacting. The pair head back to their tent, not noticing that they weren’t alone in the forest after all…

This was delightful! A non-canon imagining of Mulder and Scully as children that takes the main themes of the show and distills them down to a kid-friendly yet fan-serving story. The plot is packed with humor, clever dialogue and misdirects, and even a mildly creepy twist ending that pays homage to the characters’ roots. Adult X-FILES/sci-fi fans will love details such as Scully’s parents drawn to look like the actors who played them, and a silhouette that closely resembles a xenomorph from the ALIENS series. The art is colorful enough to engage yet maintains a proper spooky atmosphere, and is sure to present the aliens as outerworldly but not scary. The length was great, and JJ and I loved it. A treat for fans to share with their little ones, and a fun, creepy tale all around. Baby Bookworm approved!

Aliens Get The Sniffles Too! Ahhh-Choo! (Katy S. Duffield)

Hello, friends! Today, we’re reviewing Aliens Get The Sniffles Too! Ahhh-Choo!, written by Katy S. Duffield and illustrated by K. G. Campbell, the tale of a little alien with a nasty cold.

Little Alien has a terrible bug: both of his throats are scratchy, his three noses are stuffy, and all five of his ears are stopped up and sore. Fortunately, he has a loving family to care for him. Daddy Alien takes his spaceship to get a soothing Milky Way milkshake for Little Alien’s throats, Mommy Alien mixes up a batch of Granny Alien’s Shooting-Star ear drops, and Mars Rover, Little Alien’s faithful space-dog, performs feats of acrobatics to make him smile. After all this, Little Alien begins to feel much better – but now Mars Rover seems to have caught his sneeze!

This sick-day read had a lot of bright spots, but there were some issues as well. The text has a lot of whimsical humor, and I especially liked the detail of Little Alien’s extra facial features, which provided a bit of empathy for how miserable his illness must be. However, the story seems to meander quite a bit, never really finding a clear narrative for its theme. The inclusion of the Lunar Decongestants, three small monsters with devices to ostensibly relieve Little Alien’s stuffed-up nose, was a little odd as well, most because they didn’t really have an earthbound convalescence counterpart (like the rest of the alien remedies) and were, frankly, a little creepy. Still, the art was a lot of fun, filling the alien world with great little details. The length was fine, and JJ enjoyed this one, especially the dramatic sneezing sequences, which had her squealing with giggles. Overall, a great sick-day read for your own buggy little alien, and Baby Bookworm approved! 

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Best Frints In The Whole Universe (Antoinette Portis)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Best Frints In The Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis, a funny tale about conflict between friends – err – “frints.” 

On the planet Boborp, there are no two better frints (friends) than Omek and Yelfred. Why, they’ve been frints since they were little blobbies (babies). However, sometimes frints can fight, using teef (teeth) even, such as when one frint schmakles the other’s brand new spossip. Can these frints make amends?

This book was definitely silly, but still a great story about friendship. Right off the bat, the made-up language of Boborp (easily deciphered through English similarities and context) is fun and goofy, and sure to give slightly older littles a chuckle. There is also the great way that the text compares the Boborpian (?) way of friendship with ours (such as biting and hitting being an acceptable method of fighting to aliens, but it is certainly not here on Earth), essentially providing some basic friendship do’s and don’ts. The length is just fine for smaller readers, and JJ loved the brightly-colored extraterrestrials and their world. This one is fantastic for little fans of monsters or aliens, or anyone who could use a good primer about friendship and sharing. Baby Bookworm approved!