Standoff: When An Alien Meets A Swamp Monster by Cornelius Van Wright
TODAY I, J. T. BOI, WILL BECOME FAMOUS.
I WILL GO FASTER THAN ANYONE HAS GONE BEFORE.
DISCOVER LANDS THAT NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN.
I WILL BE...
In his coolest helmet and racer goggles, on his scooter, equipped, of course, with verometric outerhull stabilizers, J. T. heads down to the swamp to live out his fantasy of absolute awesomeness on wheels.
But there he finds himself eyeball-to-eyeball with what he thinks is a swamp monster, a huge green alligator, appropriately equipped with scary parts!
Under the alligator mask is Alik, who was just all set to read a stack of comics, beginning with his fave, Attack of the Aliens.
Two kids, each in the middle of their own fantasies, suddenly confront each other and assume the worst!
Both head home to tell their tales to anyone who will listen. Predictably, no one believes them.
Alik even draws a picture of the giant bug-eyed space alien he confronted. His brother tells him to stay out of the sun. J. T. describes a big green monster with a million teeth and giant claws to his big sister. Uh-huh. Sure.
J.T. and Alik each settle down and begin to feel a little silly. Maybe they overreacted. Perhaps they should go back down to the pond for another look.
And there's an another awesome encounter ahead in Cornelius van Wright's When an Alien Meets a Swamp Monster (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014), a comic book/picture book potpourri of mistaken identities and friendship found. Van Wright's pencil and watercolor illustrations are as wild and woolly as his heroes' hyperbolic fantasies. Told in an attention-holding combination of comic panels and double-page spreads, this story shows two kids who find more adventure than even their already vivid imaginations promise. Kirkus Reviews hands this one a starred review, saying "Van Wright turns the whole silly affair into a hilarious romp with easy, breezy language that captures the essence of little boys (or little alligators). Total laugh-out-loud joy!"