Review: The Most Annoying Aliens Ever

The Most Annoying Aliens Ever

by Leah Sokol, illustrated by Teresa Ramos

Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House), 2022

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Shirley Reva Vernick

One Shabbat morning, friends Sara and Talya discover that their younger brothers have turned into aliens. At least, it seems that way, since the boys' annoying behavior has reached out-of-this-world proportions. Over the course of the next week, the girls discover that their anger is what feeds the aliens' annoying antics. So, instead of getting frustrated, they either ignore the aliens or show them kindness – offering compliments, sharing their toys, or spending time with them. Like magic, this kindness eradicates the aliens, and the girls get their (not totally annoyance-free) little brothers back. Told with humor and insight, this book will enchant young readers, especially those with siblings. The bold illustrations enhance the hilarity, as the green-skinned, tentacled aliens mercilessly tickle, splash, poke, and hog the challah. Talya is depicted as Black, adding a welcome note of diversity into the story's Jewish community.

The Most Annoying Aliens Ever is a contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. It personifies the Jewish values of kindness and patience over anger, and it features Jewish families observing the Sabbath. 

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Reviewer Shirley Reva Vernick is a middle-grade and young-adult novelist. Shirley’s debut novel, The Blood Lie, is a Sydney Taylor honor book and the winner of the Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon A World Book Award. Her latest Jewish-themed MG novel, RIPPED AWAY, was released by Regal House Publishing on February 8, 2022.