The Adventures of Squirky the Alien is a beautiful series written by Melanie Lee, a local author, for her young son, whom they adopted some years ago. The story is her way of letting him know that should there come a day when he wants to find out more about his origins and birth parents, they will support his search. I was extremely touched when I read this, as I think it’s incredibly brave of them to be so open about adoption. I struggle with insensitive comments about going for IVF, so I can only imagine the barrage of hurtful comments and “advice” they face!
Initially, I was hesitant about introducing these books to Noah, as the text on some of the pages can be rather lengthy. I tried reading them word for word the first time, but decided to summarise some pages during subsequent readings, so that Noah could enjoy them better. He was fascinated by the blue capsule in Book #1, so we also spent some time exploring the illustrations, and talking about them. He wanted to know why Squirky was blue, and different from his family, so Book #1 was the perfect introduction to the series. Noah was rather concerned about where Squirky’s parents were, and kept asking me, “Where did his daddy and mummy go? Where?”
“Can we read the books now please?”
SYNOPSIS FOR BOOK #1: Why am I Blue? Squirky realises that he looks very different from his daddy, mummy and sister Emma, and wants to know why. His parents tell him the story of how he came to be part of their family Squirky finds out that he’s not actually from Earth, but a mysterious place called Planet Q! This is the first book in The Adventures of Squirky the Alien series and marks the beginning of Squirky’s quest to find his birth parents and discover where he came from.
I thought Book #1 was beautifully written, as it introduced the concept of adoption in a simple way: Squirky’s adopted father wished for a sibling for his daughter Emma, so Squirky’s capsule flew to them. The love that the family have for Squirky is evident, and they are quick to assure Squirky that he is not alone, and that they are his family. I also loved how Emma is so supportive of Squirky’s desire to find his birth parents, and even accompanies him on his adventures.
Why am I blue?
SYNOPSIS FOR BOOK #2 Squirky and his sister Emma discover that the capsule that he came to Earth in can also transform into a spaceship. They embark on an exciting space adventure with their first stop: the South Star! At the South Star, they meet Queen Stella, a beautiful and kind lady who seems rather sad and secretive. What is she hiding? Will she be able to help them find Squirky’s birth parents? What Happened to Planet Q? is the second book in The Adventures of Squirky the Alien series.
Noah’s into all kinds of vehicles, spaceships included, so he was hooked right from the start, when the capsule transformed into a spaceship. We spent some time looking at the illustration of the inside of the spaceship, and Noah was eager to know if it could fly. He also wanted to know why the Queen was crying, and was upset when Squirky and Emma both started crying as well (he’s a sensitive soul, methinks). I liked how Queen Stella plucked up the courage to tell Squirky the bad news about Planet Q, and how Squirky told her that “knowing the truth makes it less confusing”. It’s a good lesson for everyone to learn: that it’s important to tell the truth, no matter how difficult it may be.
What Happened to Planet Q?
SYNOPSIS FOR BOOK #3 Squirky and Emma land on Planet R and are treated as intruders. They are brought to the mysterious Red Commander, who seems especially unfriendly and unwilling to help. However, the Red Commander reacts strongly upon finding out who Squirky is. Why? Will Squirky get any closer to finding his birth parents? Who is the Red Commander? is the third book in The Adventures of Squirky the Alien.
Noah was scared initially, when we first encountered the Red Sergeant, who was really fierce and unfriendly. Then came the Red Commander, who was even colder, and had “scary angry eyes” according to Noah. He was surprised when the Red Commander turned out to be blue like Squirky, and asked, “Ey? How come he’s the same as Squirky? Is he his papa?” I thought it was sweet that Emma tried to comfort the Red Commander when he was crying, even though he had been mean to them, and her message was clear: it may be our instinct to run and hide when we’re scared, but we should be brave and try to do something about it instead.
Who is the Red Commander?
I’m glad we got all three books at the same time, as we could read them consecutively, to learn more about Squirky and his adventures. We’re really looking forward to reading Book #4: Where is my Mama? to see if Squirky will finally be able to find his birth mother!
The Adventures of Squirky the Alien is not just for young adoptees. Any child who has questions and seeks answers will, like Squirky, realise that any form of exploration is riddled with challenges, and it is only by overcoming these hurdles that you discover who you truly are as a person.
PS. Check out Melanie’s blog here.
Buy the Book The Adventures of Squirky the Alien series is available in major bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia. If you’re not from Singapore or Malaysia but would like to buy the books, postal delivery can be arranged. Just drop Melanie an email at adventuresofsquirky[AT]gmail[DOT]com.
Borrow the Book Why am I blue? / Juvenile Lending Singapore / English LEE / Check for availability here What Happened to Planet Q? / Juvenile Lending Singapore / English LEE / Check for availability here Who is the Red Commander? / Juvenile Lending Singapore / English LEE / Check for availability here
*Disclaimer: We received the three books for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions, are as always, our own.
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GIVEAWAY TIME! MPH is giving away TWO sets of the The Adventures of Squirky the Alien series (Books #1 to #3). Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 5th June 2015, at 2359h, and is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected. All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winner is announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real friends), will be disqualified.
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