I’ve been participating in the Rhyming Picture Book Month, and have really enjoyed the blog posts on rhyme and poetry to date. Many have been bookmarked to develop at a later date! In return (not that this is much of an exchange), we’re asked to share a favourite picture book every Friday.
This week, I would like to share my love of “Aliens Love Underpants”, by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. http://www.underpantsbooks.com/ I don’t know if this has been released in the US, but it’s been absolutely huge here in the UK, with numerous sequels, and even a touring musical production.
(On typing the word “aliens” into google.co.uk, the very first suggestion is “aliens love underpants”, which is quite an endorsement!)
Aliens Love Underpants is not going to win any prizes for changing the way that we view the world (although it could explain where your undies disappear to in the laundry), but what it does is to tell a simple, fun story, in simple, fun language (some of the rhymes are hilarious), using a simple, fun rhythm. Sounds simple and fun, right? As someone who has tried to write a few picture book stories, capturing “simple and fun” is fiendishly hard… it’s definitely not been “simple and fun” for me!
“Aliens love underpants,
In every shape and size,
But there are no underpants in space,
So here’s a big surprise…”
An example of how this has been a great mentor text for me is that, after I wrote my first “full” rhyming story, I realised that I had accidentally borrowed the meter from Aliens Love Underpants. I’d even used one of the same lines! If a story can burrow into your subconsciousness like that, then it must be doing something right. Recommended 🙂