cover image It Came from Outer Space

It Came from Outer Space

Tony Bradman. Dial Books, $12 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1098-6

The notion of a parallel universe invades and conquers the picture book genre in this ingenious and very funny tale. Bradman's narrative owes its droll tone to his spare, matter-of fact prose--``We were all in school, working hard, when . . . an alien spaceship crashed through the roof.'' All the facts of this friendly extraterrestrial visitation are revealed here save one: the faces of the pupils and teachers in the ostensibly normal-looking elementary school. At the end of this close encounter the students conclude that the alien ``was a very friendly monster, even though it was so ugly''--the final spread, however, reveals the real surprise. The bright colors and skewed perspectives of Wright's exuberant torn-paper and watercolor paintings add to the waggishness, making this a terrific choice to share with the early elementary set. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)