The inspired self-starter who emulated his barber father in Even Monsters Need Haircuts returns in this equally fun companion, in which the boy experiments on Mom’s turf. Always eager to help his mother in the kitchen and even make up recipes, the young narrator has a tough time getting his family to sample such treats as an eggplant, mustard, and lemonade smoothie: “My sister says it’s disgusting…. She says that no one in the whole universe would eat the things I cook.” And therein lies the throwdown. The boy dons a toque and chef togs and opens a backyard snack bar. Given his history with creatures of the night, he might have guessed that his best patrons would arrive in the wee hours—via spaceship. “My first customer is from out of town,” he deadpans.
Readers will delight in the parade of rainbow-hued, tentacled aliens lining up for “Swiss cheese donut holes” and turnip-side-down cake.” Inky nocturnal backgrounds provide an excellent contrast to the glowing cast of spooky-silly creatures, and the twist ending ought to provoke giggles. Ages 4–8.
When his summer snack stand fails to attract family and neighbors, an enterprising young chef with a flair for the unusual draws some very weird customers from way out of town.
This creative young boy likes to help his mom cook and make up his own recipes. His sister finds his eggplant, mustard, and lemonade smoothie disgusting and warns him that no one in the world or the universe would eat what he cooks. Undaunted, he builds a snack stand, but no one comes for his waffles, smoothies and sandwiches. Just as the boy gives up, a flying saucer lands near the shack one night, and his first alien customer samples the mushroom iced tea. Word spreads through the galaxy, and creatures line up nightly for their favorite dishes: Swiss-cheese doughnut holes, turnip-side-down cake, sponge cake with leeks, and bean puffs. But when the boy mixes all his favorite ingredients into Galactic Pudding, he may have gone too far for even his far-out clientele.
Rendered in ink, pencil and digital techniques, quiet illustrations embellish the spare text by casting glowing moonlight on a bevy of eerie, silly, fantastical extraterrestrials in nocturnal purples, blues and greens. Whimsical pairing of creatures and snacks—an enormous critter with a giant mouthful of teeth loves the toothpaste soup, for instance—proves especially rib-tickling.
Tasty fare for alien fans. (Picture book. 4-8)
A young chef loves to try new recipes that his sister thinks are disgusting and that no one would ever eat. He sets up a stand to sell his snacks and finds that she might be right. But in the middle of the night, a spaceship lands in his backyard and the aliens love his recipes! All summer, he cooks and bakes for his new alien friends. There are colorful illustrations that kids are sure to love. This book could be used to spark creativity and writing—have students write their own recipes. Teachers and librarians could pair this with nonfiction selections about food. Valerie Byrd Fort, Library Media Specialist, New Providence Elementary School, Lexington, South Carolina. Recommended
MCELLIGOTT, Matthew. Even Aliens Need Snacks. illus. by author. 40p. CIP. Walker. 2012. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-2398-7; PLB $15.89. ISBN 978-0-8027-2399-4. LC 2011050071. K-Gr 2–A young chef has a penchant for whipping up out-of-this-world recipes. His sister is not impressed with an “eggplant, mustard and lemonade smoothie” and admonishes him that “no one in the whole universe” would eat his food. Undeterred, he opens up a snack stand and attracts some late-night patrons. McElligott’s ink, pencil, and digital illustrations show an eclectic lineup of aliens, including a doughnut-shaped, duck-footed creature and a wide-mouthed purple being with a toothy grin. They all love the boy’s “turnip-side-down cake,” “sponge cake with leeks,” and “toothpaste soup.” While his final dish of the season, “galactic pudding,” is met with moans of “YICH!” from extraterrestrials holding their noses, his unsuspecting sister tucks into it with relish. As in McElligott’s Even Monsters Need Haircuts (Walker, 2010), the droll, first-person narration is full of witty quips. A tasty treat sure to please.–Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada