The Adventures of Squirky the Alien

A Children's Book Series on Adoption

Blog Reviews


thotsReview for Book 1
“I liked the vibrant illustrations with very Asian looking characters. I liked that this book focuses on the topic of adoption – I haven’t seen any other children’s picture book which does so. I liked that it teaches various things not just to the kids, but the parents, too…

Get it, not only if your child is adopted. Get it anyway, so that your own kids can understand the concept of adoption and that being different is okay.”

Review for Book 2 

“This series tackles different issues in each book, and does it at a level that small children can understand.

There are not that many books that explore the topic of adoption with small children. A lot of thought has gone into these books. Author Melanie Lee has handled this tough topic well.”

Review for Book 3

“Author Melanie Lee has made it easy for readers to catch up on the story. It’s okay if you didn’t read the first two books or if you can’t remember what happened. She devotes a few paragraphs at the start of the book to the story so far.”

Review for Book 4

“There are several reasons why I like this series and this book, in particular…for example, the sibling relationship between Squirky and Emma is lovely to read about. Even though they are not related by blood, they are inseparable and there is not one moment of doubt that their love for each other is as strong as any sibling relationship. I love the fact that despite being children, Squirky and Emma are determined to find his parents and are not afraid to travel the universe, hopping from one planet to another, just to find them. It is a great way to teach children about determination and perseverance.”

Review for Book 5

“Unlike the previous four books in this series, this one might be a bit harder for children to digest. While older kids and parents will appreciate it, it will take a bit more explaining to get the ideas across to younger kids.”

Review for Book 6

“I liked that there was some sort of closure for Squirky and that it doesn’t miraculously have a happy ending. The real value of the family unit and how you help each other through bad times and as a team really resonates in this story.”

An Interview on Adoption

notabilia Review for Book 1

“Why Am I Blue? offers the opportunity for an adopted child to see himself or herself reflected in a book without judgment; to see another child have experiences similar to his or her own; and to develop strategies to cope with issues in his or her own life. But this isn’t a book just for adoptees and their families. Books like Why Am I Blue? help to eliminate cultural centrism; they challenge children to develop multiple perspectives.”

Review for Book 3

” … it is this deep personal connection that Melanie has to this material that make these books ring so emotionally true, for every child, adopted or biological. My preschooler asks to read the Books #1, #2, and #3 over and over again.”

bottle

Review for Book 1

“To me, adoption is a wonderful picture of God’s grace in salvation. As children of God, we are nothing like who God is. Yet, He chose us. To bring us into His family, and call us His sons and daughters, extending the glory of His kingdom, to us who deserve nothing. (Galatians 4:4-7)”

Review for Book 2

“As before, the illustrations are gorgeous and heart-warming, and I thought Dave Liew’s portrayal of Queen Stella (whom the children very politely call ‘Auntie Queen Stella’ as any well-behaved Singaporean or Malaysian kid would), conveyed her sadness and beauty exquisitely.”

Review for Book 3

“The story is also inspiring to little ones because it shows that you are never too young to show some care and concern to older folks, and how you can also encourage an adult with good advice!”

Review for Book 4

“I liked how the story brought us back to characters from the earlier instalments of the series (the lovely Queen Stella) and how this episode saw Squirky putting aside his own quest to help another family in need. It’s all very heartwarming, especially when Squirky comes one step closer to meeting his parents.”

Review for Book 5

“I appreciated this ending, because it is a good reflection of real life, and how issues are not always cut-and-dried.”

Review for Book 6

“Personally, I liked how the focus of this book shifted masterfully from the adventure and exploration of earlier books, to Squirky’s inner thoughts and feelings.This book is more reflective, portrays a silent child, and takes time to address the lingering uncertainty and ‘what ifs’.”

pancake

Review for Book 1

 “I really like how the illustrations bring the story out so clearly and vividly to a young child, especially for pre-readers like David who are still very much getting the “feels” from the pictures that they see. Just be looking at the pictures alone, David could identify the key emotions that Squirky went through in the book – happiness, worry, loneliness, fear, sadness and joy.”

Review for Book 2

“David loves the new book even more than the first, which seamlessly continues the story from the first book, and includes every little boy’s dream of a space capsule traveling in outer space and meeting a pretty auntie. Haha! He was much impressed with the long flowy hair and diamond tears (‘How come her tears are diamonds, Mummy?’) of the beautiful Queen Stella.”

Review for Book 3 

“As a parent, I like this book for the themes of forgiveness and trust that it portrays.”

Review for Book 4

As soon as we opened our mail and saw the new book, David immediately pounced on it. “Look, mummy! It’s another Squirky book!” We were rushing to leave the house for dinner, but he wanted to read it NOW…so that’s how I ended up sitting squashed between two car seats in the back of our car enroute to dinner, reading Where Is My Mama to two very captivated and quiet boys. 😉

Review for Book 5

“This fifth instalment of the Squirky series is a comparatively more somber one, making the reader reflect on the emotional tussles and heart-wrenching decisions that many adoptees and their adoptive parents may have to make. Major kudos to Melanie for crafting this story, for it’s not many authors who can portray such depth of emotion through a children’s story book.”

Review for Book 6

“Isn’t it interesting how the Squirky series is titled with questions? Why, what, who, where, how, and now, when. With every answer gained, new questions arise. And life goes on…Real life is a journey, not a destination, and that is what is so special about the story of a little blue alien who taught the boys and me to treasure life for all that it brings. Thank you, Squirky.”

diaper

Review for Book 1

“I don’t think we’ve fully made a dent in helping them understand the myriad of issues behind it [adoption] but I do like that it [Squirky] gave us the opportunity to talk about some things that we don’t generally talk about and at the end of it, they still wanted to go back to the book again. That in my book, is what makes a good book.”  

olduvai

Review for Book 1

“Melanie has written a fun book that would appeal to most kids, adopted or not. It’s a story about a loving family and their unique little boy. Sure he may be blue but he is loved by his mummy and daddy and sister Emma. I think many kids will understand what it is to feel different, to be different. And this book shows that it’s ok to be different, and that you can still be loved and appreciated for who you are.”

popReview for Book 2

“As a counsellor of children, I have seen firsthand how crucial the roles of fantasy and make-believe are in the emotional lives of children. In their private story worlds, giants are conquered and mountains are overcome. Nasty bullies are defeated and, yes, adoptive kids may dream of one day meeting these people who gave them life, and whom they may take after in ways they may never know.

The Squirky series gives children permission to not just embark on a search for their biological parents (for some, that might not even matter very much). It also gives adoptive children a chance to own their amazing, miraculous and beautiful stories, of the people who love them and the role each one plays in their lives.”

Review for Book 3

“The processing of emotions is part of their journey, and being able to validate these emotions as various parts of their adoption story unfold is part of the cycles of understanding and healing that will occur, possibly over a lifetime. This factor was precisely why our boys loved Squirky #3, and so did I. Rarely do children’s books portray character’s emotions in such a clear and candid manner. Melanie’s prose is simple and easy for young children to understand, and David Liew’s vividly colored illustrations with their stark outlines convey the message clearly.” 

Review for Books 4 & 5

“Melanie’s writing takes on a certain richness in the penultimate of the Squirky series. As an avid fan of the blue alien, we have travelled together with her on this incredible journey as an adoptive parent. Indeed the depth of her experience and the rich conversations with her son have coloured the Squirky books, and we have gained so much from these personal encounters. Through Squirky, we get to catch a precious glimpse into the heart of an adoptive mum, and we are also witnesses to what an adoptive child’s search for his birth parents might be like.”

owlbanner

Review for Book 3

“I really appreciate the way that Melanie weaves difficult concepts and themes into all the books, providing many opportunities for discussion with my kids – and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the rest of the series!”

fullReview for Book 1

“This book captured the attention of our kiddos especially our boy as he is into things like aliens, spaceships so he was asking for continuation when we reached the end of the book. I can see he also gained a new understanding on what adoption means after going through this book.”

Review for Book 2

“The illustrations in the second book are still gorgeous as ever. Love the stained glass feel of the illustrations.”

tans

Review for Books 1-3

“I was extremely touched when I read this, as I think it’s incredibly brave of them to be so open about adoption…Initially, I was hesitant about introducing these books to Noah, as the text on some of the pages can be rather lengthy. I tried reading them word for word the first time, but decided to summarise some pages during subsequent readings, so that Noah could enjoy them better…Noah was rather concerned about where Squirky’s parents were, and kept asking me, “Where did his daddy and mummy go? Where?”

Review for Book 5

“I’ve always maintained that books are excellent ways to introduce new situations and ideas to children, and I love the Squirky series for being bold enough to deal with such a sensitive issue.”

Review for Book 6

“The Squirky series also provides resources for parents of adopted children, sharing insights from other adoptive parents, on how to handle various situations with their adopted child(ren). I found the resources really interesting, and I think that it would be helpful for educators too, since they might also be in contact with adopted children.”

ps.jpg

Review for Books 1-4

“…she’d sit quietly and flip through the pages, looking at the pictures.” 

bubsicles.jpg

Review for Book 5

“I am not sure if he truly understands the meaning behind the books, which traces the journey of Squirky the alien as he zips off into the galaxy in search of his birth parents. But the emotional themes – the unconditional parental love, birth or adoptive; and the desire to uncover our roots – seem to resonate with him.”

Review for Book 6

“My boys and I, we have gone on the journey with Squirky for six books now and I have to say that it was a good, learning experience. Through the books, Aidan and I have spoken about the importance of empathy, for instance. And, funnily enough, almost-two Zac is a fan of Squirky! He loves to pull the books out of the shelf and wave them in my face with an imperious “Read! Book! Mummy, read!” It got to the point that I had to hide the books because I was reading them for the nth time for the evening/week and I could practically memorise EVERYTHING (sorry Melanie!)”

rachelbooks

Review for Book 1

“It’s a really simple and easy to read book with an engaging storyline.”

Review for Book 2

“Nothing much happens in this book (which added to the disappointment) but I suppose this is the result of writing a book series – there has to be an explanation of the backstory somewhere and this was it. I must say though, that the illustrations are stellar.”

Review for Book 3

“I would recommend all parents to buy this book, and the first two in the series to read to and with their children. For those without kids, like me, you could buy them for someone with kids, just like I did. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it as much as I did.”

Review for Book 4

“This is possibly my favourite book yet in the series. It’s a charming and heartwarming tale that would teach children that sometimes, we need to put the needs of others before ourselves.”

Review for Book 5

“I must say I’ve quite enjoyed reading this series, much to my surprise. The books really hold valuable lessons for all children, adopted or otherwise. And they really provide good fodder for conversation for adoptees.”

Review for Book 6

“I’ve been following the exploits of Squirky for some time now and I must say that this book provides a not a saccharine sweet, happily-ever-after kinda ending, but a more realistic yet satisfying one.”

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