Title: The Day Aliens (Nearly) Ate Our Brains
Author: Tom McLaughlin
Illustrator: Tom McLaughlin
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s fiction, Humour
Book format: Paperback
Description: Best friends Freddy and Sal have accidently started a SPACE WAR with Alan, a grumpy alien brain muncher from Planet Twang. Soon the police, NASA and world leaders are getting involved. Freddy is about to become the MOST FAMOUS KID in his town, for all the wrong reasons…Wolverhampton, we have a PROBLEM.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This funny book is also very silly. Freddy and Sal want to watch ‘Wrestlegeddon Smackdown’ and try to get a signal using a very strange homemade satellite. But instead of the wrestling they end up communicating with Alan, an alien who’s determined to eat their brains, by 10pm that the same day!
The story is a very silly one but also funny and it was easy to get into and read this book right away. Every chapter begins with a time, like 5pm, rather than just a number, and the whole book takes place over the course of just a few hours as the boys first try to alert someone important to the alien invasion and then try to stop it from happening. As the story progresses we’re introduced to lots of silly characters, especially the police and important world leaders who make the boys appear clever in comparison. I won’t go into any more detail about the tale but it is both daft, funny and has the sort of easy to read humour that many kids will enjoy, although expect a fart joke here and there!
The ending of the story is a good one, I enjoyed reading it. The endless bad English of Alan the alien was funny and I also enjoyed the simple message towards the end of the book and the silly references to a certain character pulling off his shirt! The humour in the book is something that both girls and boys will like although to be honest I can see this being more a boys book than a girls given the fart jokes and general silliness. At the back of the book after the story, there are a few extra activities. There is a translation of Alan’s phrases, a few of them with a really simple and short English translation. There’s a quick guide on how to draw Alan as well as his top tips for invading planets. The last activity is a recipe to make Lumpy Bumpy Brain Pudding which is actually a proper recipe using crisped rice cereal, chocolate, and food colouring. There are easy instructions but parents can do this together with kids which is advised for melting the chocolate.
The illustrations are good, quite simple but a lot of humour in each one and there’s some sort of illustration on every page. They are all black and white. The last page about the author is written in his own words which was both funny to read and you realise, if you didn’t already know, that he used to be a cartoonist for a newspaper, which explains the funny style and also possibly the reference to the character who takes off his shirt, which is based on a real person!
Overall I did enjoy this book. It’s silly and funny and great for any kids who want a quick book to read with some fun extras at the end.
-Review first appeared online January 2018 – now republished here.
What do you think of this book? Do you like fuuny and silly stories like this? Have you read any other books by Tom McLaughlin? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂