cover image Time for (Earth) School, Dewey Dew

Time for (Earth) School, Dewey Dew

Leslie Staub, illus. by Jeff Mack. Boyds Mills, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-958-2

A blue-skinned, one-eyed extraterrestrial (full name: Click-Clack Waddle-Waddle Dot-Dot Dewey Dew) feels like the ultimate outsider as he attends Ms. Brightsun’s School for Little Learners, right here on Earth. Staub (Everybody Gets the Blues) laces her story with playful bits of alien vocabulary. “Brand-new Earth shoes pinched his oofs,” she writes, and Dewey even “dorfles” (cries) a few green tears as he approaches the school; adding insult to injury, the teardrops get caught in his space helmet. Mack (Who Needs a Bath?) uses dense pencil shading to bring texture to the pages while amplifying Dewey’s anxiety through varying perspectives and dramatic shadows. Dewey’s rewarding emotional turnaround comes thanks to the efforts of a friendly boy (full name: J.J. Burgdorf Havermeier the Third), which should give hope to Earthlings nervous about their own first days of school. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (June)