He begins by sharing a narrative of himself as an author, told through his son’s point of view.
Dad writes children’s books. He also draws the pictures. He says it’s hard work, but he seems to spend an awful lot of time messing around. (At this point, the illustration shows characters from other books that Colin McNaughton has written).
The father leaves his family to read his new book while he walks his dog. The reader then changes to read a new story from a paperback book pocketed on the page. The title of the new book is “We’re Off to Look for Aliens” by Colin McNaughton. Sound familiar? The text shares how he leaves with his dog, Wilberforce, to visit space. They meet several type of aliens, all described through a familiar tune. At the end of the journey, he meets a lady alien and they fall in love, bringing her home. Kids will have fun reading it, especially a struggling reader, as they can connect the text to a nursery rhyme they have memorized.
In the end, the family shares their views. They believe the story is good, but “kids prefer fairy tales and stuff“. The reader then learns that his family is the lady alien with two alien-like children that were featured in his children’s book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for We’re Off to Look for Aliens:
- Conversational Lead – “Ah-ha!” said Dad. “My alien book. Thank you, Mr. Mailman.”
- Poetic Text – internal book written to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb“
- Hyphenated words – Never-seen-on-telly things, Eyeball-in-their-belly things
- Surprise Ending
- Stories about our lives