cover image The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

Marilyn Singer, illus. by Brian Biggs. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7868-3825-7

In this amusing but overwrought tale with an extraterrestrial twist, Larry the Liar has his work cut out for him when he calls attention to an alien ship’s splash landing in Malarkey Lake. Who will believe the rantings of the kid who told his friends “that Dad’s a secret agent guy/ out searching for the lost world of Atlantis./ That mom was bitten by a bat and thinks she’ll fly./ Her favorite foods are moth and praying mantis”? Readers are in on the truth from the start, privy to every move of the green, tentacled aliens Carlig and Dreab (English translation: Garlic and Bread). Biggs’s (Everything Goes: On Land) thickly outlined mixed-media art pops with vibrant color, the drama unfolding in a series of comic book–like panels. But while there’s no denying the skill involved in the construction of Singer’s (Mirror, Mirror) outer-limits verse, much of it—especially the alien-speak—is not well suited for reading aloud, and the sheer quantity of text may have readers (even alien-lovers) losing interest. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)