Reading fun for kids from Canada’s public libraries

Joe the Alien at the Food Fair

The park was crowded with different booths, food trucks and colourful tents on this sunny Saturday, marking the return of the annual international food fair. People waited in snaking lines to try curries, pizza, dumplings, pancakes…almost every food imaginable.

Wendy and her younger brother Linc were serving customers their homemade lemonade which was a big hit on this hot day.

“Step right up and try some cool lemonade!” Wendy called out as she poured another glass.

Linc nudged her with his elbow as the next customer approached them. “Hey, Wendy,” he said, “look who it is!”

Wendy nearly dropped the glass when she looked up. She pointed and shouted, “Joe the Alien!”

“Shh. I’m in disguise,” Joe whispered.

Wendy and Linc stared at Joe. The neon pink alien had squeezed his big, round body into a hockey sweater. A baseball cap dangled from the wobbly tentacle atop his head and he wore two pairs of sun glasses to cover his four eyes.

“That’s a pretty good disguise,” Linc said, trying hard not to laugh.

Wendy smirked. “Yeah, like an elephant hiding under a napkin.”

Joe smiled. His plans always worked.

“What brings you back to Earth?” Wendy asked.

Joe replied, “Well, the last couple of times I came here I left in such a hurry that I forgot to try some of your planet’s food.”

Wendy and Linc looked at each other. On Joe’s previous visits, he’d tried to play baseball and help them build a science project. The results were… well, they were unexpected, and both times he’d fled the scene and the planet.

“You came at the right time. We’re having an international food fair,” Wendy said.

Linc waved his arms and added, “There’s food from ALL around the world here!”

Joe was amazed by the variety of colourful, delicious smelling food. Everyone at the fair seemed to be having a great time trying new and tasty treats. The alien licked his lips with his pink, floppy tongue.

“I have no idea where to begin,” he said.

Wendy offered him a glass. “Here, you can start with this.”

“I helped make it!” Linc said, smiling.

A hand appeared and stretched from Joe’s belly and he took the glass. Another hand appeared and took off his two sunglasses. He looked carefully at the drink and smiled. “Hey, it’s pink like me.”

With one swift flick, he tossed the drink into his big mouth and swallowed with a very loud gulp.

“What do you think?” asked Linc.

Joe looked at the empty glass again, then back at the kids. He asked, “Hmm… there wouldn’t happen to be lemons in this?”

Linc frowned. “It’s lemon-ade!”

“Why?” asked Wendy. “Do you have a problem with lemons?”

Joe didn’t respond. He just gazed back at them blinking his four blank eyes. His skin suddenly began to shine.

“Joe, are you alright?” asked Wendy. “You’re starting to glow.”

He just stood there, frozen, looking like a giant, pink light bulb.

“Joe,” Linc said, “say something!”

The alien began to hum. The noise started softly, but then quickly grew much louder until he opened his big mouth and shouted, “LEMONS!”

The kids jumped back, then suddenly Joe…

Story Endings