Beegu by Alexis Deacon
When a crashed spaceship strands Beegu on Earth, the young, lonely alien searches for a friend. While most of her attempts are unsuccessful, she does find friendship and acceptance in a box of puppies and, later, a group of children on a playground. Unfortunately, her new friendships are quickly ended by grownups who are not as accepting of the unusual looking creature. Eventually Beegu is reunited with her relieved parents and able to share with them her struggles of finding friendship on a strange planet.
I am so happy I came across this book! It was the cover that caught my interest – I had studied the cover for several minutes trying to figure out what type of creature Beegu was (I was thinking rabbit or dog) before I looked inside and learned she was an alien. I’ll be interested in hearing my students guess what she is, although they’ll probably figure out right away that she’s an alien!
This is a wonderful story that teaches a valuable lesson about acceptance. I’ll be honest – there are many parts of this story that made me very sad. Alexis Deacon did an outstanding job showing Beegu’s sadness and confusion as she so desperately (and often unsuccessfully) tried to make friends. While I felt relief and hope when the younger characters (puppies and children) saw past Beegu’s unusual appearance, I also felt a great deal of sadness and frustration at how the adults could not accept Beegu because she was different. Again, a valuable lesson that all readers (young and old) will benefit from!