By Arthur Yorinks
Illustrated by David Small
Crown Publishers, Inc.
Arthur Yorinks has written several books for children, including Hey, Al, illustrated by Richard Egielski, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1987. His text in Company’s Coming is humorous and pleasing—with some surprising and hilarious turns.
David Small is an author as well as an illustrator, and has published a lengthy list of wonderful books. His book, The Gardener, written by his wife, Sarah Stewart, was awarded a Caldecott Honor. He won the Caldecott Medal for So You Want to be President? in 2001. Small creates familiar and natural scenes using rich colors and delicate lines. His fine, detailed art is incredibly satisfying.
Shirley and Moe are enjoying a pleasant afternoon while preparing for a visit from the cousins, when a flying saucer lands in their yard. Moe yells to Shirley who, upon seeing the foreign object, mistakes it for an oversized, and impractical, newly-purchased barbeque. Soon, a small door opens and two small weevil-like (and adorably dressed) space aliens emerge.
‘“Greetings,” they spoke in English. “We come in peace. Do you have a bathroom?”’
To Moe’s surprise, Shirley directs the visitors into the house. Moe is certain that the aliens will vaporize them! Shirley, ever the polite host, invites them to stay for dinner. After all, they must be hungry after all that space travel!
The aliens graciously accept the invitation and vow to return at six o’clock. Immediately upon their departure, Moe is on the phone with the FBI.
By 5:45, every armed service in the U.S. is parked in front of (or flying over) their house.
Inside, Moe and the cousins imagine the worst about the pending alien arrival; Shirley reminds everyone to be nice. Outside, the two tiny guests ring the doorbell.
They’ve arrived carrying a large box. Cousin Etta is certain it’s a bomb. Or a laser! The soldiers and tanks ready their guns; everyone waits with baited breath as Shirley undoes the wrapping.
‘“It’s a blender!” Shirley declared. “And we don’t even have one.”’
Then they all—the aliens, Moe, Shirley, the cousins, the soldiers, the FBI men, and the marines—sat down to a delicious spaghetti dinner together.
A sweet and funny story about kindness, courtesy, and giving people a chance—no matter how different they may seem—Company’s Coming is great fun for the whole family.
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