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By Scott Stuart

Reviewed by Claire Monsour

It’s hard being alone, especially in the darkness of space. So, Earth decides to look for a friend; but the other planets aren’t exactly friendly. When something strange comes hurtling towards her, Earth’s hope for a friend are quickly dashed – but could a disaster turn into what she has long sought after?
Scott Stuart has written and illustrated a heart-warming story that cleverly combines a simple introduction of our solar system with a deeper narrative of friendship. As Earth approaches each planet in the hope of making a friend, she is met with blunt explanations on the different attributes of each. Mercury likes friends who are dry, Venus likes friends who are hot, and Saturn is just downright mean! It seems the planets only want to be friends with others that are just like them.
Simple rhyming and engaging illustrations will draw younger readers in, while learning basic concepts and comparatives. School-age children can be guided beyond the text to consider emotions, rejection, and friendship dynamics.
Publisher Hardie Grant (Bright Light) describes ‘Alone’ as “an endearing story about how sometimes our worst moments can lead to the best things in life”. While the third act does focus on Earth’s reaction to a meteor crash and encourages looking on the bright side of a bad situation, there is another positive – and more endearing – message that ‘Alone’ gives to its reader; true friendship is about connection. It doesn’t matter how different you are in looks, size, or ability – true friends just enjoy being in each other’s space.
Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing Bright Light 2022
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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