Earth To Clunkby Pam Smallcomb, Joe Berger
What do you send your alien pen pal Clunk to make it clear you do not want an alien pen pal? You send him your big sister. That'll teach Clunk to have a pen pal from Earth-or so our intrepid narrator thinks. But then Clunk sends him a Zoid, an exasperating Zoid that follows him everywhere. After swapping dirty socks, three Forps, some old lasagna, a weird/i>
What do you send your alien pen pal Clunk to make it clear you do not want an alien pen pal? You send him your big sister. That'll teach Clunk to have a pen pal from Earth-or so our intrepid narrator thinks. But then Clunk sends him a Zoid, an exasperating Zoid that follows him everywhere. After swapping dirty socks, three Forps, some old lasagna, a weird glob, and a string of Christmas lights, our hero seems to be having . . . could it be . . . fun? But then: Clunk stops sending stuff. Oh no! Earth to Clunk . . .? Is he too busy being bossed around by our hero's big sister? Will her ever send another package again? Maybe-or maybe not. More hilarious surprises await!
Deadpan comedy, vibrant artwork (a bit Calvin & Hobbes, a bit Eloise), a warm friendship theme, and an extraordinary surprise ending will have kids laughing all the way back to the first page of this sweet-in-spite-of-itself story.
“Smallcomb expertly channels a sarcastic kid who’s secretly a softie.” — Publishers Weekly
“Friendships can blossom in the most unexpected ways and places. This is science fiction with a homey touch for the youngest readers.” — School Library Journal
“Tongue-in-cheek text from a Maryland author is a lively match with Joe Berger’s hysterical illustrations.” — Baltimore’s Child
The boy in Smallcomb's story starts as a put-upon grouchypants but slowly turns over the course of a pen-pal correspondence.
When his teacher tells him to write to his pen pal, he's all grumps: "I don't want a pen pal named Clunk from the planet Quazar." He completes the assignment by sending his bratty older sister along with the letter. Clunk sends back a Zoid. The boy fires back with his dirty socks (a welder's helmet and tongs are necessary to handle them, all part of Berger's bright, sunny interpretations of the story's brooding crankiness.) Clunk posts three Forps ("Forps smell like dog food"). Things escalate until the boy's mother demands his sister's return. Clunk takes a while to respond—the note has been sent in a box full of moldering lasagna—and the boy realizes how much he has enjoyed the skirmishing with Clunk. This tale scales no new heights of much anything, but there is no denying the pleasure of its dry, matter-of-fact delivery: "I got a package from Clunk today! Inside is a disgusting glob of something. And my big sister." And Berger's artwork, with its Southern California–bungalow cheeriness, has a wonderful way of turning the story's gravity in on itself, then stirring the ingredients into broad, spirited humor.
Rarely have school letter-writing exercises been so much fun. (Picture book. 4-8)
Meet the Author
Pam Smallcomb lives in Germantown, Maryland.
Joe Berger lives in Bristol, England.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
This book is delightful and hilarious. Deserves more accolades than it's getting. I'm an aspiring children's book author who reads tons of kid books, and this is much better than most. Actually funny.