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THE FIELD GUIDE TO ALIENS

Author: Johan Olander

Illustrator: Johan Olander

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, ©2010

Material: hard cover

Summary: From the Mulchon to the Andromedan Hexaped, everything you need to know about "intergalactice worrywarts, bubbleonauts, silver-slurbers, and other extraterrestrials" is provided in this one, slim volume. Fact sheets, photos and illustrations are part of these biographies of aliens.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 10; read yourself: 10 to 13

Interest Level: 8 to 13

Reading Level: 5

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: There were lots of "yuck" and "what's that" from our daughter. She would read a bit look at the pictures, and then ask us to read. She said there was "too much writing" for her.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a book the whole family can enjoy, and I love that you don't have to do it "all" in one sitting. There is lots of clever information with layers that parents will enjoy and "get" more than their kids (like the cassette labeled 'disco').

Pros: Large illustrations, clever names, and fun facts will keep kids turning the pages to learn more about aliens - some familiar, some brand new to them.

Cons: While I think our daughter was being a lazy reader, I am disappointed that there isn't a little more white space on the page. A reluctant reader will dig in, a remedial reader won't! But this is a perfect type of book for both of those audiences.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a lot of fun, I'm just not sure about its shelf life long term. I would definitely consider buying it if I knew a boy who liked aliens and extraterrestrial stuff. I might even pair it with the movie E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MAX DISASTER: Alien Eraser to the Rescue (Max Disaster #1)   HERBERT'S WORMHOLE   HUNGRY; A Novel

Educational Themes: Given the structure of the book, it can serve as a great model for kids to create their own extraterrestrial creatures and build a biography about them. These go beyond the basic physical descriptions to include personality, which adds a great dimension for kids to write about.

Notes: Awards: Honourable Mention, Reader Views Literary Awards 2011; Second prize, 2011 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards

The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, imaginary creatures, ETs

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2010

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