The other day I saw a post on Twitter that it was #World UFO Day on July 2. I couldn't resist asking the question, do you believe in aliens? What if we are not alone in the Universe? If you know me or my writing for children, you would know I like to play with this possibility. After all, with the size of our Universe or (Multiverse, depending on your point of view) I don't believe it could be plausible that we are the only inhabitable planet with intelligent life forms. I'm not here to delve into the specific science of it all, I'll leave that to astrophysicists that are for more knowledgeable on the subject than myself. Suffice to say, as a children's author, I kind of like the idea of friendly little aliens that come to visit.
If we are not alone, and if we were ever visited by aliens, surely they would be inquisitive and friendly. It makes sense that a life form that has evolved the technology to travel in time and space long enough to reach us, would also be a peaceful race. They would have to have evolved to a higher level of co-operation and understanding to reach such a level of intelligence far beyond what we as humans, know and understand today.
Obviously, many people are sceptical but that doesn't mean I can't have a little bit of fun with the idea. Part of writing for children is to engage them in reading through fun and exciting ideas. Take my first short chapter book for example, in Gingerbread Aliens we wouldn't have such a compelling and enjoyable story without the boys next door neighbour, Mrs Witherbottom being absolutely convinced she saw a UFO smash in through the school Principal's window. Her tale is so convincing that the police officer decides -
'I believe we need to call in the Scientific Research Team for Radioactive Meteorites and Asteroids. You can never be too careful with Unidentified Flying Objects from outer space.'
In book 2, Alien Shenanigans, I take the laughs up a notch with the idea of the boys trying to catch a
mischievous little alien.
'How cool is that?' agreed Brian. 'He's a chameleon, no wonder we couldn't see him. He keeps changing to blend into his background. ' Brian reached out to grab him but the alien was too quick. He slipped through Brian's fingers, danced across the science table and knocked over a packet of washing powder and red food colouring. David made a swipe to grab him but in the process he in turn spilt the bottle of vinegar. The reaction was instant, soapy coloured froth oozed and bubbled along the table and overflowed onto the classroom floor and out the door.'
Any budding young scientist will know the disastrous mess that would have occurred in this scenario. Not only does the book provide teaching opportunities for research into space topics but all sorts of amazing science projects. My books may be full of laughter and imagination, but they also include great learning opportunities through STEM projects.
Both the alien, the idea of UFO's and Mrs Witherbottom return in the third book in the series, Alien Milkshakes. What has caused the crop circles on the school oval? Can the Bradberrie brothers keep the alien a secret and help him repair his spaceship before Mrs Witherbottom discovers the truth behind her missing vegetables from her garden? All will be revealed when the book is released later this year.
'The brothers were so busy helping Aster and listening to Simon's tale that they didn't hear the footsteps coming towards the side fence in Mrs Witherbottom's yard, or hear the little step ladder that banged against the fence. It wasn't until they heard an unexpected voice call out that they all jumped. The three boys turned to see who was there.
'Hiya, What's the news laddies?' A bright eyed, freckle-faced girl peeped over the top of the fence. All three brothers quickly shuffled together to hide Aster from her sight.'
In the meantime, I have also written a short story that has been accepted for inclusion in an upcoming children's story collection. I have taken the idea of my friendly and mischievous little alien and combined it with my Australian animal picture books, to produce a short story where my alien travels around Australia with Santa in his sleigh on Christmas Eve. He sees some incredible sights and meets a few amaing animals along the way.
'Aster waved to camels in the desert and whales in the Bight,
koalas in the rainforests, it was all an incredible sight.
He met echidnas and emus and a baby crocodile,
dingoes and dolphins and a shark with a huge scary smile.'
The possibilities of friendly little aliens visiting from other worlds are endless. My children's books encourage a fun enjoyment of reading and learning. Children have amazing imaginations that can be engaged in incredible creative thinking given the opportunity.My books are a gateway to discussions that may produce that critical thinking. It is up to us to foster their imagination and creativity so that they may become our future inventors who will develop technology far beyond anything we can produce today.
Kids love the idea of aliens, (especially little mischievous ones), do you?
Are we alone in this huge universe? What do you believe?
If you are interested in any of my books, you can purchase them here in print form
The ebook copies are all available on Amazon except for Alien Shenanigans, sorry I've still not managed that.
I hope to have Alien Milkshakes released before the year is out, and my short story, Aster's Aussie Christmas will be in the CKT Story Collection to also be released before Christmas.