ALIENATED by Sophie Shortland

ALIENATED

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An autistic boy views the world as being inhabited by brightly colored aliens, very different from his human self—until he sees a new girl who looks a lot like him.

Brief rhyming verse that often fails to scan accompanies the lively, exceptionally colorful illustrations of myriad differently shaped aliens (including the boy’s parents and brother) engaged in everyday activities. In addition to not looking like an alien, the boy is also socially isolated: “They eat their lunch together. / I eat my lunch alone.” The accompanying illustration shows him sitting by himself at a cafeteria table, but, strangely, there is an extra tray of food next to him. After he asks his tentacled, multieyed father about the new girl, his parent reassures him: “Dad tells me that some people see / the world through different eyes. / She is special just like I am, / which takes me by surprise.” They invite the girl over. The pair share space but don’t interact. Nonetheless, her presence is comforting. The concept that the boy and girl (who are both white) see themselves as different from everyone else is shown—although it’s a bit murky since each alien is also quite unique—but younger children on the autism spectrum might be inclined to take the images literally and not understand the deeper message.

A well-meaning but not fully successful picture book for those on the autistic spectrum. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63411-007-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Thunderstone Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2018




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