Take Me to Your BBQ
Aliens have landed on Willy’s farm, and they’re not leaving without a square dance and a square meal! So fire up that grill, lay on the barbeque sauce, and snatch up that fiddle. Told in verse, this rollicking story puts a twist on the typical encounter with the third kind. Adam McCauley's out-of-this-world illustrations match Kathy Duval's hoe-down rhymes like ribs and taters! Get ready for some extraterrestrial, lip-smacking fun.
From School Library Journal: While tending his grill, an unsuspecting Willy is visited by "some colored lights from outer space," and three-eyed, little green men wearing spurs appear and apparently have a craving for some chili. With a knee-slappin' rhythm, the occasional hitch in the rhyme scheme, and a few too many gratuitous "yippee ki-yee's," Willy rustles up some grub and plays the fiddle till his guests drop. Then he pulls the ol' switcheroo and takes their ship for a ride. The final pages show Willy throwin' down at his very own BBQ joint on their home planet while the aliens tend his turnips. McCauley's illustrations use rich desert colors and comic proportions to play up the wacky story line. The recipe for "Willy's Out of This World Barbecue Sauce" might inspire a tasty food-themed program.-Jenna Boles
From Booklist: Plumb tired after a heck of a workday, Willy’s a-fixing to grill himself up some ribs when a flying saucer causes a ruckus by lowering over his desert shack. “Cat’s meowin’, cow’s a lowin’. / Dog’s a-howlin’, chicken’s GLOWIN’!” Out scampers a big mess of “greenies”—three-eyed aliens drawn by that heavenly smell. “We don’t want your leader, Willy, / Just your barbecue and chili.” Down the hatch go the ribs (the cowboy hat tastes pretty good with hot sauce, too), but while the greenies are stomping their boots along to Willy’s fiddle, Willy sneaks aboard the ship and takes off across the galaxy—a three-page foldout tracks his progress—to enjoy sweet success as the owner of Willy’s BBQ on an alien planet. Duval has a darned good time mixing up a stew of western and sci-fi tropes, while McCauley marshals his watercolors into earth tones for the desert and pastels for the UFO lights. Occasional wordless spreads let readers bask in the goofiness, and a recipe for Willy’s Out of This World Barbecue Sauce concludes.-Daniel Kraus