Judith Herbst's eclectic collection of anecdotes and well-researched facts paints a fascinating history of UFO sightings in the United States. The stories, which include a Yakima Indian folktale, a detailed description of the Roswell incident, and a lesson in Jungian psychology, are guaranteed to spark the interest of even the world's greatest skeptics. What were people really seeing when they looked up into the sky? Greg Clark's hilarious ink and watercolor illustrations provide young readers with a host of silly possibilities: weather balloons, flying pancakes, and lenticular clouds, to name just a few. This engaging, lighthearted treatment of a historically controversial topic is great fun to read and even more fun to talk about afterwards. (Ages 7 to 11)
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4?Cartoon-style illustrations in muted colors add a touch of lightness to a normally serious subject. They are whimsical at times, such as showing four animal witnesses to the infamous Roswell, NM, crash with a lizard standing upright, scratching his head in wonder and a bird dressed in tank top, jeans, and sports shoes. Modern concepts of UFOs and alien beings are introduced through brief recountings of well-known sightings, mostly in the American West and Southwest. Two major theories as to what UFOs may be are advanced?theycould be alien spacecraft or visions of solid objects made real by human imaginations. One page of illustrations shows "What UFOs Are NOT." Pictures include: "lenticular clouds," a sun pillar, a meteor, Venus, ball lightning, and blimp lights and a "Flying Pancake" (experimental aircraft). These items are frequently reported as UFOs. The U.S. government's investigative efforts, beginning with "Project Sign" and ending with "Project Blue Book," are mentioned. Characteristics of a typical alien-abduction experience complete this basic survey of UFO mysteries. Elaine Landau's UFOs (Millbrook, 1995) mentions less well known sightings and has photographs, a glossary, bibliography, and index, all of which are lacking in Herbst's presentation. Both titles end with the opinion that UFOs remain mysteries that bear further investigation.?Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.