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Earthlets: As Explained by Professor Xargle Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Professor Xargle, a green space-being, gives comedic (if sometimes misguided) insight into the functions of human babies; PW praised the "clever and original" writing. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-3-- A wickedly funny lecture on "Earthlets" (babies) is delivered by Professor Xargle to an amphitheatre of green, five-eyed, tentacled space creatures. Earthlets, he says, "are patted and squeezed after drinking their milk so they won't explode. . . They often leak. When they do they can be pinned into a white cloth or sealed in soft paper with tape." And so goes this anthropological, alien's eye view of babies. When the lesson ends Professor Xargle and class don human disguises and embark on a field trip, by spaceship, to Planet Earth. Ross' bright watercolors are zany and sophisticated, making the most of Willis' wry observations. His pudgy babies find themselves covered in "mash" (baby food), sprinkled with "dust" (baby powder), and rocked to sleep in a "beddy-bye" (cradle). Despite its picture book format, this title may work best in the fiction collection, as a quick read for second and third graders. Laughs abound when one considers the odd way in which we might look to objective observers. The macabre Twilight Zone ending adds to the fun. --Gail C. Ross, Baltimore County Public Library
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Professor Xargle
  • Mass Market Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; 1st edition (December 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140552936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140552935
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is supposedly for children, but makes a very fun present for expectant parents- especially first-timers. It provides welcome comic relief from all those "how to be a perfect parent" books!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love these books by Jeanne Willis! They are creative and engaging. Certainly laugh out loud funny.
I use them to teach about the nature of science, about how things seem different when you go somewhere new, and about perspective. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a way to amuse kids from 5 to 10 (and include a few laughs for yourself), sample this charming lecture from Professor Xargle. An alien's hilarious view of babies begs to be read over and over. Brought to life through delightful cartoon illustrations filled with sight gags and amusing details, the simple text is a perfect bedtime read aloud. Add an academic's nasal drone for the full effect and enjoy the sound of your children's laughter.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The main reason kids may love this book is clear: the hilarious pictures and the outrageous way the professor, an alien (from another planet) explains life on Earth.

One reason parents happily read it time and again is because it can be appreciated on mulitple levels, including one with greater meaning: anyone from one culture may misunderstand, misinterpret or misrepresent what he/she is seeing in another culture.

Like Prof. Xargle, we all tell others what we "know". This book reminds us to reconsider and look again.

You can lead some great discussions with children after reading this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Used as part of a 5th grade "inference and observation" unit ( from Picture Perfect Science, which I LOVE). The kids loved the book...I had to make a sign up sheet after we read out in class because everyone wanted to be the first to read it independently.
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Format: Hardcover
We found this book to be very funny. I think it will be most appreciated by adults who can associate all the double meanings in the book. The younger children will find that just the silliness of the references is funny enough to enjoy it. If they have younger siblings, they may immediatly associate the double meaning to their own family life! Definitely a 5 star book though. We came to know this book when it was featured in our neighborhood library's story hour.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I grabbed this book from our library and was caught off guard by how hilarious it was. Halfway through I had to stop reading because we were laughing so hard. I particularly like the way it encouraged my kids to think about everyday experiences differently. It offered a great opportunity for teaching the difficult concepts of perspective and subjectivity in a fun and unique way.

Kyle, age 7: This book was really interesting and I actually really loved it because it wasn't people, it was aliens and it was funny. The aliens called the babies earthlets and I really liked it and it was pretty cool.

Ryan, age 7: It was humorous and exciting. My favorite part was how the father earthling throws the earthlet up into the atmosphere to make it stop crying.
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