Animals from Another Planet
by Annie Cwyk

"I believe that in the end, we will all see that peace is our fate."

Misty, an elk living on Earth, encounters a spaceship on a hike through the forest. Five animals from planet Plumvubba emerge. Their mission is to gather information from other planets to take back to their world. Misty travels to Plumvubba where citizens communicate respectfully each day—unlike on Earth, where greed and injustice prevail. What tools will the animals on Plumvubba provide to Misty to help her bring respect, compromise, and peace back to Earth?

The author uses a very creative story featuring animals to teach the powerful message of peace. She provides creative ways to engage children as well as stimulate the imagination and senses of young readers. For instance, using the gift of “Cosmic Gleam” to Misty as a metaphor for the very abstract concept of peace provides a fun visual for children. Next, the reader’s mental ears are stimulated in the section in which the spaceship makes a "Zoogle-thrumble-Zoogle-thrumble" sound and also in the instance of characters named Flashader and Flashglowga. Finally, in the library origin story, the sheep weaves a magical tale about the leeberries on Plumvubba.

The vanneeffe, a type of technology used and provided by the animals from Plumvubba to Misty, could have two very different meanings depending on the view of the animal. The kangaroo believes that vanneeffe is named after two artists, and the deer sees it as an acronym for artistic technology. The bear later presents a poem about the importance of respecting differing opinions, and the reader can reflect on the vanneeffe story as an example of this fair treatment. This vivid story that references Luke 2:14 from the Bible engages readers to respect others and strive for peace in their community.

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