Aoleon The Martian Girl – First Contact is Part 1 of Brent Le Vasseur’s wonderfully illustrated Science Fiction Saga, which begins when young astronomy fan Gilbert wakes up in the night to witness a strange light sweeping across the crop fields of his next-door neighbor, Farmer Johnson’s farm in Nebraska.
Worries about his parents arguing make it hard for him to sleep, and so he ventures out – only to come face to face with the friendly Aoleon The Martian Girl, who is busying herself with making a crop circle in her flying saucer. As Gilbert makes first contact with aliens, the reader is thrown into a brilliant adventure with a chase from the US Air Force in full swing.
What makes this book really special – and the rest of the series – is that LeVasseur has used 3D digital illustrations (click here to see how he makes them) to bring the book to life. The bright colors pop out at the young reader, and takes any fear of the idea of aliens or UFOs completely out in one stroke.
Gilbert is a sensitive and intelligent hero with a whim for adventure. Any child with a sense of fun and exploration will thoroughly enjoy both having this story read to them, or delving into it themselves, even if they are not sure of all the words. It definitely highlights the need for a child to build their inquisitive nature, as well as educating on relationships, conflict and being tolerant of others, even if they are different to you.
LeVasseur mixes in urban myths about aliens, such as the Martian ruler’s evil plan to steal cows (relating to media reports of cows being abducted from farms) and gives kids the tools to imagine some spectacular vistas and activities that may be developed after reading in action roleplay, and introduces various basic ideas about society, democracy and government along the way. He gives a nod to The Wizard of Oz and definitely there is a hint of ET too, with enough in there for adults to pick up on too.
Kids that enjoy Pixar are going to relish these books, and the fact that there are many of them in a kaleidoscope of colors is a clever marketing ploy that will work in the same way Wimpy Kid books seem to get collected avidly.
With cool one-liners that will have kids driving you mad with repetition, and funny episodes throughout, it’s going to be worth investing in this one as well as the series if you are looking for some new stuff to keep kids happy this Easter vacation, or if you are on the lookout for a new series to invest in, and can easily be shared among age groups in multi-child families for both girls and boys, with a music album of songs on MP3 to purchase to boot. Recommended.