review-publisher's-weekly

Publisher’s Weekly: Even Aliens Need Snacks

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.