CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 39. . . .June 11, 2010
In this intergalactic adventure, a young boy befriends an alien. When Quillan makes an emergency pit stop on Earth, Jake comes to his aid. In return, Quillan invites Jake to visit his home planet. Canubide is a peaceful, ecologically responsible place. Residents live partly underground in big glass domes and wear air packs to travel - their "best solution,/to eliminate pollution." Canubidians are also intellectually superior to Earthlings. Students download information onto microchips planted in their lower lips: "What Quillan accessed in grade one,/ Earth learns next millennium/" After enjoying a meal of vegetables that "tasted just like chocolate pies," a game of "sphere zap" and a tour of the local sights, Jake returns home with newfound wisdom: "Loving thoughts of hope and mirth,/will help bring peace to planet Earth."
While the descriptions of Canubide are imaginative and engaging, the story sags under the weight of the rhyming couplets. The sameness of the sing-song rhythm causes interest to wane. Some of the verses seem forced: "Come to meet my Dad and Mom/ They were hoping you would come/ They'd like to thank you personally,/ for the time when you helped me." Others are awkward to read aloud: "Geometric math, Earth science,/consciousness and self reliance,/added to my constitution,/maximizes contribution,/expediting evolution." There are also grammatical errors such as "Quillans' friends" and "a planet and it's life forms activities and conditions."
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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