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Literally a book within a book (which is to say that a small paperback has been adhered to one of the pages of the hardcover), McNaughton's (Captain Abdul's Little Treasure) tale begins as the mail arrives with a copy of the new alien book written by the child narrators' father. He hands it to his sons, and "it" is the paperback ("This is what we read...."). The paperback is full of kid-pleasing poetry and wordplay: "We saw lots of smelly things,/ Never-seen-on-telly-things,/ Eyeball-in-their-belly-things," and it ends with a space explorer bringing home an alien wife. Better still, the pages that follow offer a terrific punch line. "Kids tend to like fairy tales and stuff," the boys say when they finish reading their father's book. "Who's going to want to read a true story?" Only on the last page do readers see a full view of the author's family, complete with googly eyes and extra arms, and realize the paperback is an autobiography. Kids will relish the joke as well as the innovative format. Ages 4-9. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.