Reviews for Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

Booklist Reviews 2011 October #2
This sci-fi take on a familiar tale features small green creatures that have funny names (Bork, Gork, and the nearly unpronounceable Nklxwcyz) but behave very much like three pigs who, once upon a time, famously went out into the world to make their own homes. These aliens leave a cozy crater on what looks like Mercury and set off across the solar system. Two-eyed Bork and one-eyed Gork are carefree, zipping around on a space rover and the ring of a planet, while three-eyed Nklxwcyz hunts for a suitable place to settle. Once the towering Big Bad Robot shows up, McNamara comes up with some nice variations on a familiar refrain: "‘Little alien! Little alien!' it broinked. ‘COME OUT OF HIDING!' ‘Not by the orbit of this ring I'm riding!' cried Gork stoutly." An author's note calls attention to how accurately the planets are depicted--both in order and color--but the more dazzling attractions are the book's exuberant text and comical, out-of-this-world illustrations. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Mama Alien sends her children off to find a planet of their own, warning against the Big Bad Robot. When the Big Bad Robot comes, Bork and Gork seek refuge at Nklxwcyz's sturdy self-made house. Funny details abound in Fearling's digital collage illustrations and in McNamara's text, which concludes with the aliens deciding to "phone home" to Mama for a bedtime story. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #6
In this "universal" take on a classic tale, an alien family's cozy home on Mercury has become a bit too cozy, so Mama sends her three children off to find a planet of their own, with a warning to watch out for the Big Bad Robot. The siblings each choose a different location, despite Mama's advice to stick together: a Mars rover for impatient Bork, a satellite orbiting Saturn for energetic Gork, and a house on Neptune for cautious Nklxwcyz. "Then, one galactic dawn, there was a rumbling in the universe." The Big Bad Robot finds Bork first and demands that she "Pull over! PULL OVER!" to which she pluckily replies, "Not by the wheels of my trusty space rover!" Bork escapes, and she and Gork seek refuge at Nklxwcyz's sturdy self-made house, which is where the Big Bad Robot ultimately meets its explosive doom. Fearing's little green aliens are anything but scary; they l ok like typical kids (with an unnatural number of eyes). The Big Bad Robot, however, practically blasts off the page; his five red eyes and large metal frame shake with speed and rage. Funny details abound in Fearling's digital collage illustrations (such as Gork toasting a marshmallow on "too hot" Venus) and in McNamara's text, which concludes with the aliens deciding to "phone home" to Mama for a bedtime story. With robotic onomatopoeia ("GREEP BOINK MEEP"), a name like Nklxwcyz, and outer space as the setting, this is guaranteed to be a read-aloud hit. ashley waring Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 July #1

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)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 July #1

This boisterous galactic retelling of "The Three Little Pigs" pits resourceful pea-green alien children against a skyscraper-size robot. Siblings Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz live with their mother "in a snug, cozy crater on a tiny little planet." When their home " too crowded," the kids head into the solar system to seek new abodes. Two-eyed sister Bork finds an unmanned rover on a red planet ("Awesome!"). Her one-eyed brother Gork boards a satellite spinning around a ringed planet ("Whee!"). Three-eyed Nklxwcyz prefers a planet with "thirteen moons, and refreshing breezes." Soon the Big Bad Robot chases Bork to Gork's home; recalling their mother's advice to "stick together," they fly to Nklxwcyz's brick house. Fearing's (The Book That Eats People) collages lend a down-to-earth feel to the interplanetary action. McNamara (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) is faithful to the original story, down to the climactic chimney, but has bountiful fun along the way (" ‘Little alien! Little alien!' bleeped the Robot. ‘Pull over! Pull over!' "). This is no astronomy class, but readers can guess the unnamed planets by description, and they'll have fun pronouncing Nklxwcyz. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September

PreS-Gr 3--With its broad humor and a knowing wink to folktale conventions, this delightful reworking of "The Three Little Pigs" has potential to become a crowd-pleasing favorite. When Mama's cozy house in a crater on Mercury grows too crowded, she sends her three little aliens out into the universe to find a planet of their own. She warns them to stay together and watch out for the big, bad robot: "And call me every once in a while." The youngsters strap on their jet packs, bypassing Venus ("Too hot"), Earth ("Too crowded"), and meteors. When pigtailed Bork spies a shiny space rover, she ignores the warning to stick together and settles on Mars. One-eyed Gork is smitten with Saturn's rings. It is left to sensible Nklxwcyz to travel on until he reaches Neptune, where he builds a safe, sturdy home. And just in time, too, for with "Greep Boink Meep Peeedily Deeep Ork Eep," the Big Bad Robot is on his way. Fearing's hand-drawn cartoon illustrations rendered digitally with collage techniques offer bug-eyed, green aliens and an enjoyable mix of science and playful details. An author's note refers readers to NASA's website for more facts about the solar system. This lively, well-told twist on a classic tale will capture the hearts of a wide audience.--Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

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