||An Alien in My House
by Olga Stein
Ben's elderly grandfather has just moved in. Ben thinks of him as
an alien. His body comes apart-his teeth come out and his hair comes
off. He makes lots of noise when he breathes, and he needs a button
in his ear to hear what is being said to him. He eats only green
food-peas, broccoli, and spinach, and he takes many pills. At the
same time, Ben's grandfather is convinced he has moved in with a
monster. He tells his friends about Ben's bad habits: The kid doesn't
stop talking. His room is always a mess. He forgets to clean it but
demands a reward nonetheless, and he wants only junk food to eat.
But after living together in the same house, both the alien and the
monster start liking one another. Ben tells his friends how much
he enjoys the Alien's war-time stories and how proud he is of the
Alien's war medals. The Alien even gives Ben a ride in his wheel
chair to soccer practice. Meanwhile, the Alien now boasts to his
friends about how smart the monster is-how Ben taught him to play
games on the computer and how he helps him find the things he has
misplaced around the house. Both the Monster and the Alien are now
envied by their friends as both unexpectedly find comfort and
affection in each other's company.
An Alien in my House is heart-warming with wonderfully quirky
illustrations by Chum McLeod.