cover image Alien Nate

Alien Nate

Dave Whamond. Kids Can, $14.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-5253-0209-1

This short and silly graphic novel adventure follows the eponymous pizza-obsessed purple alien and his terrestrial escapades. When the inhabitants of planet Vega encounter the Voyager 1 probe, they find a pizza accidentally left onboard by NASA and become obsessed. Sent to Earth to bring back more, Nate crashes his spaceship, drawing the attention of two government agents (“Men in Beige”). Fazel, a young immigrant, comes to Nate’s rescue, taking him home, bringing him to school in disguise, and teaching him all about life on Earth—and the many varieties of pizza (“Who puts pineapples on a pizza? I mean, that’s just... odd!”). When Nate grows homesick, Fazel and some new friends must help him brainstorm ways to fix his ship and return home. The episodic pacing and present-tense narration are easily digestible for emerging or reluctant readers, and thickly outlined, brightly colored art by Whamond (Acting Wild) has cartoon sensibilities effective for joke delivery. Though seasoned readers may prefer a narrative with more heft, this lighthearted story successfully touches on themes of inclusivity, friendship, and the importance of imagination. Ages 6–9. [em](Apr.) [/em]