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THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT by Margaret McNamara

THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT

By Margaret McNamara (Author) , Mark Fearing (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86689-0
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

An extremely odd variant on "The Three Little Pigs."

It's time for Bork (two eyes, the sister), Gork (the one-eyed brother) and Nklxwcyz (three eyes, like their mom) to go out into the universe to find their own planets. Mom tells them to stick together and watch out for the Big Bad Robot. Bork chooses the red planet, and Gork is enchanted by the golden rings of another, but Nklxwcyz chooses Neptune and builds his house of space stuff and space junk. When the Big Bad Robot smashes Bork’s and Gork’s homes, they flee to Nklxwcyz, whose house is so strong that the Robot gets stuck in the telescope/chimney and explodes. The three children call mom, as exhorted, and she comes to tuck all three into bed. The green-skinned, red-haired or bald little aliens careen around the starry black universe with jetpacks and clear, round headgear, and there is some faint echo of charm in “ ‘Little alien! Little alien!’ it broinked. ‘COME OUT OF HIDING!’ / ‘Not by the orbit of this ring I’m riding!’ ” (The classic dialogue varies slightly from sibling to sibling.) It fails the logic test, though: The Big Bad Robot is fearsome, but there really doesn't seem to be a good reason for him to go after these kids.

This one may be too stuck on the arc of the original tale to come alive in its own right. (Picture book. 5-7)