My brother is an alien by Anita Zurbrugg

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An alien has landed in this big boy's house and he isn't terribly happy about it. He has no manners, controls the household and yet all of the adults are completely besotted with him! Can't everyone see how strange he is? The alien's special powers might work on mum and dad and the grandparents, but definitely not on him. But then he realises: 'To have someone to talk to. Someone with whom to play. To make me laugh when I feel blue. I might just let him stay.' Children expecting a new sibling will identify with some of the emotions the boy experiences: loneliness, confusion and uncertainty. It gives a humourous take on what it might be like to have a baby in the household, touching on a lack of attention from mum and dad, the constant crying and eating and the undecipherable mode of communication.

Digital illustrations give a movie-feel that will appeal to the target audience, but they do lack a little in depth and aesthetic appeal. In addition, the flow of the rhyming text is clunky at times ('No one is safe I say, Not Grandma, nor Grandpa. You won't get to me, no way! Can't they see he's just bizarre?'), making it hard to find the appropriate rhythm when reading aloud.

Themes: New sibling, Families, Rhyming story.

Nicole Nelson