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Earth to Audrey
Author: Susan Hughes; Illustrator: Stéphane Poulin
Pages: 32
Publisher/Date: Kids Can Press/2005
ISBN: 1553378431
Age Levels: 4-8

Book Review

The narrator of this elegant, entertaining story is a young boy named Ray. The book opens with him reminiscing about the first time he saw Audrey:
[S]he was sending signals. There couldn't have been anyone up there answering back . . . could there?

When I saw Audrey again, she was training grasshoppers. Her antennae had to be fake. But the grasshoppers didn't seem to think so. After that, I kept my eyes peeled for Audrey. I never knew where she'd turn up. I never knew what she might be doing. She might be creating a strange concoction. She might be building an odd contraption. Lots of times, she was just lying down looking up.

I began to wonder. Was she from another planet? Was she an alien?
Audrey, after all, seemed not quite of this world. She was quirky. She was quiet. She "had not learned many Earth manners."

Slowly Ray slowly gets to know Audrey—who claims to be an ordinary girl who was staying with her father for the summer. As their friendship evolves, Audrey shows Ray, through words and actions, how amazing Earth is.
The next time I saw Audrey, she was taking off her shoes and socks. She saw me, but she didn't say anything. Still no Earth manners.

I went over and took off my shoes and socks too. We stretched out our arms and legs, starfish-like.

"I can feel the Earth holding me," Audrey said, smiling.

"Me too," I said, surprised.

Audrey rolled over and pressed her cheek against the hot grass. She hugged the Earth back.
As summer ends, Audrey must leave with her mother. Ray asks her to stay. "I can't stay," she replies, "but I'll come back next summer . . . I wouldn't miss it for anything in the whole universe."

At its heart, this is a story about the joys of friendship and imagination and discovery. The full-spread illustrations—done in oils—are lively and luscious and capture the beauty of this funny, tender tale.

Classroom Experience: We took this book into a second-grade classroom to read aloud. The students loved both the story and the illustrations. They especially loved Audrey. The class unanimously gave it a "10," their highest rating. An excellent choice for a read aloud or independent reading.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2005 Education Oasis http://www.educationoasis.com


About the Author

Award-winning author Susan Hughes has written a number of fiction and non-fiction books for children. Earth to Audrey is her first picture book. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

About the Illustrator

Stéphane Poulin is the highly acclaimed author and illustrator of many books for children. He is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award for Literature, Canada's highest literary honor. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Resources

For more information, visit Kid's Can Press.