Melinda Szymanik reads ‘My Mother is an Alien’ from her collection Time Machine and other stories (Ahoy: The Cuba Press, 2019).
You can find details of the book here.
MY MOTHER IS AN ALIEN
SUMMARY Nathan befriends a new student, Mark, at school. While hanging out at Nathan’s place, Mark meets Nathan’s mother who has an uncanny ability to know what’s going on even when she isn’t in the same room as the boys. She also has other unusual skills and abilities. Mark might have joked about his mum being an alien, but it’s actually Nathan’s mum that is from out of this world.
THEMES Families, friendship, secrets, aliens
QUESTIONS (For older students)
Irony is a particular feature of this story. What is dramatic irony? What does the reader know that Mark doesn’t know?
How does Nathan get on with his sister? What impresses Mark about her?
DISCUSSION Hunt for 5 things Nathan’s mother does that suggest she’s not an everyday mum. Are these really alien? Or are they things a mother might actually be capable of? Is there anything your mum does that seems otherwordly?
Draw a picture of Nate’s Mum.
Write a poem or little story about an ‘alien’ mother or father and/ or draw a picture.
Melinda Szymanik writes picture books, stories and novels for children, with several named as Storylines Notable Books. Fuzzy Doodle and A Winter’s Day in 1939 were finalists in two categories in the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards and The Were-Nana was a Children’s Choice winner. A Winter’s Day in 1939 also won Librarian’s Choice at the LIANZA Awards.
When she is not writing, Melinda likes reading, baking (especially with chocolate), going to the movies and travelling with her family. She has three grown-up children, a cat and a husband, and lives in Mt Eden in a house with a view of the mountain.
send to firstname.lastname@example.org
please include your name age and name of school
don’t forget to put Alien challenge in subject line so I don’t miss it
don’t put your surname on drawings or paintings or collages (Poetry Box policy)
There is no deadline while we are living in our bubbles! Every Friday I will post some work by children. I will always answer your emails but not straightaway. If I haven’t replied after 3 or 4 days nudge me as I may have missed it.
(I will have pop-up mystery giveaways for the other activities every Friday when I post your work. See the list below!).
You can also try:
Send me pictures, photos or poems of curious things you see on your walks
Listen to Maisie and I read fish poems and invite you to do fishy things
Listen to my unpublished very very very strange tail story and do some illustrations for it or invent your own strange tail!
Try writing a postcard poem from where you’d like to be!
Mixed up animals and hear Paula read ‘Anifables’ poem
Sally Sutton’s magic hat challenge
Celebrate your hero and listen to Barbara Else read
Tell me about your favourite bookshop or library
Play Pass the Poem with at least one other person
Write draw video comic strip letters poems stories about being in your bubble
My cloudy challenges and hear my cloud poem
My thank our supermarket workers challenge
Listen to me read Aunt Concertina and offer a cool challenge
Listen to me read my poem ‘Lick Lick Riff’ dog poem and offer a doggy cat tiger bat any animal challenge
Check out David Hill’s wonderful photo challenge
Listen to Swapna Haddow read her book and try a rabbit challenge
Try Johanna Aitchison’s hunt the teddy challenges
Ruth Paul reads her muddy poem and I offer muddy challenges