When my 10-year-old son saw the irresistible drawing on the cover of this book, he grabbed it out of my hands. Page after hilarious and heartbreaking page, my boy’s laughter got louder and more complex. At points, he just stopped and stared at the two-page spread, bewildered by the ingeniously awkward words and images. Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by artist and comedy writer Jomny Sun is not a children’s book. But when an author’s first novel has prepublication raves from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Joss Whedon, you can be sure it’s going to bust across traditional genres and age categories.
Little Jomny is an aliebn left on earbth by his fellow alienbs to find out about humabns. What Jomny doesn’t realize is that everyone he meets is everything but human. He makes friends with a bear, snail, owl and egg, plus an artistic porcupine, all of whom he kindly helps with their various identity crises. Jomny befriends a swarm of philosophical bees, a metamorphosing frog, an otter who fancies himself an auteur (say it twice) and NOTHING. That’s right, NOTHING. Because NOTHING matters. Best of all is Jomny’s best friend, a tree who winds up giving a devastating critique of Shel Silverstein’s famous book, A Giraffe and a Half.
When I got through Jomny’s zanily illustrated adventures for the third time (it’s impossible to stop), I knew that I was happier and emotionally richer for understanding so much less about my life than I had before. That’s the beautiful essence of philosophy. It took my son only 20 minutes to finish Aliebn, but he keeps grabbing it every time he sees it. It’s a gripping story and so much fun.