About the Holiday
World UFO Day was established in 2001 as a time when alien-life enthusiasts could get together, talk about their theories, and share stories and evidence gathered. To celebrate watch some UFO-themed movies, read up on reported alien encounters or outer space-themed science fiction, or throw a UFO party. However you decide to have fun on World UFO Day, just make sure it’s an out-of-this-world experience.
Breaking News: Alien Alert
By David Biedrzycki
Night has fallen and Mama Bear puts Baby Bear down to sleep in a soft meadow bed. Suddenly, though, a light from above focuses on the Bear’s den and begins to lift a dozing Baby Bear into the sky. Mama Bear grabs one of his legs while Papa Bear takes hold of one of Mama Bear’s legs, and together they’re transported into an alien spaceship. It’s still dark as the morning news broadcasts a News 3 Special Report from Hundred Acre Park.
Reporter Chad Newsworthy is standing in the middle of the meadow where one large crop circle surrounded by little crop circles attest to the strange goings on. Newsworthy looks into the camera and reports: “According to eyewitnesses, last night an alien spaceship snatched up bears, moose, rabbits, and squirrels from this very meadow.” A half-eaten carrot is shown as evidence, and a local scout troop who saw the whole thing is standing by.
One scout is telling how she caught the alien abduction of a friend’s toy bunny on her phone while a headline scrolls across the bottom of the report: “It appears aliens can’t tell the difference between live and stuffed animals.” A local farmer is also interviewed about his missing cow, goat, and piglet. To flesh out the story UFO expert E. T. Fonehome gives his opinion on what the aliens may look like.
Meanwhile, the animals who are waiting to learn their fate in the darkened spaceship are unaware of the commotion down on Earth. News reporting has moved to the zoo, where four of the most popular animals are missing, while, unfortunately, the parrot Annoying Ralph was left behind.
Not one to miss an opportunity for some face time on TV, Mayor Luke Atme pulls together a press conference where he assures his constituents: “Good afternoon, my fellow citizens! I’m not here to talk about my election campaign, but to express my deepest concern for those poor, defenseless animals.” The scrolling headline reveals that “polls show that if election were held today, mayor would lose to Annoying Ralph.”
By now dusk has fallen. A crowd has gathered behind reporter Chad Newsworthy, and the alien souvenirs are selling like hotcakes. But what’s happening on the spaceship? The aliens have the animals surrounded and Baby Bear is approaching one young alien who’s holding a string—or is it pull cord…? All over the world, the news is exploding with this universal story that “we are not alone.”
Suddenly, in the dark night sky, the spaceship zooms into view and hovers above the park. As it lands and lowers its ramp, “witnesses report hearing strange music.” Chad Newsworthy looks intently into the camera and reports what everyone is feeling: “There are no words for this moment. The human race holds its breath.” Then the moment everyone has been waiting for occurs, and the animals descend the ramp… “with goody bags?!” As the aliens lift off, it seems humans have to concede that “we are not the only party animals in the universe!”
David Biedrzycki’s Breaking News: Alien Alert is funny, pun-filled storytelling at its best. Sly references to news reporting, alien abduction, and emergency response tropes add layers of depth that will keep kids as well as adults laughing from the mysterious beginning to the surprising end. Biedrzycki’s focus on the Earthlings in the story increases the suspense and the clever payout when the animals are released.
Biedrzycki’s dynamic art captures the personalities who often get involved in sensational news stories. Speech bubbles let readers easily follow the action as the news spreads from person to person. An bit of evidence left at the scene may give super sleuths an early clue to the ending.
For laugh-inducing story times that kids will want to tune into again and again, Breaking News: Alien Alert is a definite UFO—Undeniably Fantastic Option—for home and classroom libraries.
Ages 4 – 8
Charlesbridge, 2018 | ISBN 978-1580898041
To learn more about David Biedrzycki, and his books visit his website.
World UFO Day Activity
Booking through Space! Coloring Page
These aliens have a very special spaceship to travel in! Grab your crayons or pencils and make their universe more colorful!
Breaking News: Alien Alert can be found at these booksellers
Picture Book Review