Saturday, 27 April 2013

X for Xargle

Dr Xargle's explanations of the oddities of human life from the point of a view of a green alien are just wonderfully inventive, described as being 'translated into human' by Jeanne Willis (a second mention for this author too) and illustrated by Tony Ross. The one about Earthlets is brilliant too but here I have Earth Mobiles and Earth Tiggers.

Dr Xargles is an alien teacher and he is trying to help his charges make sense of the peculiar behaviour of humans. They are funny books for children because it allows them to laugh at someone who doesn't understand what to us are obvious things, but it also points out that the things we think are obvious might not be so after all. It also points out to children how there might be any number of alternative explanations for things, and that different cultures have totally different ways of seeing the world.
"A car has many eyes. It winks at it's friends with these. It has a tail. Out of this comes stink fume."
The definition of a boat: "A boat is made from a tree and a sheet is tied to a stick with string"
Weird behaviour on aeroplanes: "The earthlings are only allowed to get on if they smile. Then, they are tied to the chairs so they don't escape."
At the end of each book his students disguise themselves as schoolchildren and travel to earth, only to get in a whole lot of trouble because of their slightly strange lessons.
We always liked the cat one, you probably have to be a cat person to find it funny.
"Earth tiggers like gardening. They dig a hole and plant a stinkpot. This never grows."
Earth tigers mainly eat 'meatblob' but "A healthy earth tigger also needs cow juice, tandoori cluck bird, muckworm and old green gibble in dustbin gravy." Just brilliant and laugh out loud funny.

(Go to the list here and visit other A to Z Bloggers.)

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