Funny and charming, this picture book debut by author/illustrator Krol stars pint-sized aliens who always know how to lend a hand (and a laugh).
Clearly alien, with green skin and antennae or gray skin and elongated faces, the Quest-terrestrials do their best to blend in on any planet, whether it’s with humans or cacti. But they also love to take center stage and be unique. They like to go fast, and they like “things that, um, float?” the narrator explains in a dubious tone, accompanied by an image of the little aliens with pink balloons tied to their middles. The Quest-terrestrials also have the qualities of good friends: They catch friends when they fall and help them when they’re scared. Krol has a way of defying expectations. When the narrator describes simple pleasures, the aliens are shown with a leaf blower sending them (and a field of daisies) flying; when the aliens love something sweet, the page almost overflows with blue cotton candy. The Quest-terrestrials are fond of furry creatures, but they love unicorns best (enough to figure out how to bring one back to their home planet). The story ends on a gross-out note—and another expectation swap—that will leave readers giggling. Krol’s art has plenty of kid appeal, and the rough, cartoonish style is perfect for enhancing the text’s sense of humor.
Though it has supporting themes about friendship and imagination, the biggest appeal here is that it’s just plain fun. Expect plenty of giggles—from children and parents.