Written by Pam Smallcomb
Illustrated by Joe Berger
The only thing worse than a pen pal from the planet of Quazar is not having a pen pal from Quazar. Our hero tries to discourage his pen pal, Clunk, by sending him smelly, annoying gifts, only to receive similar packages back from Clunk. In the process, he finds out that our differences are really our strengths. He and Clunk end up being great friends and allies, especially against his sister. The hero sends his sister, smelly socks, a scary drawing, an electric toothbrush, a string of Christmas lights, a note buried in old lasagna, baseball cards, and an invitation. From Clunk, he receives a zoid, three forps, an even scarier picture, something unidentifiable, his returned sister, and a visit from Clunk. He and Clunk make a good team.
Berger’s illustrations do a lot to enhance the story and make the reader laugh. The hero’s determination and surprise show in his expressions. The sister is understandably angry at being shipped off to Quazar. The zoid, forps, and other stuff are hilarious.
First graders have a perfect opportunity to increase their literacy skills. They also learn about friendship and responsibility in a totally silly and sneaky way. Learn more about the author on her website, www.pamsmallcomb.com, and about the illustrator on his website, www.joeberger.co.uk.