This is the very first draft the lovely Sarah Chipperfield, illustrator extraordinaire, drew for my Flippety Floppet project, an Early Reader book with lots of lovely pictures. Since then, the little blue alien has changed quite a lot in looks…it’s been a process of “limb-elimination”, in this case one set of arms was replaced by two antennae, much easier to draw…and easier to write about!
The Flippety Floppet children’s books are aimed at Early Readers and this is the first book in a series of probably four books, if Sarah’s pencils can keep going for that long!
Here’s a little sample of Flippety Floppet’s first adventure:
A cloud sidled up to the rising sun. “I’m very angry,” the cloud huffed, puffing itself up to look less puny next to the bright ball.
The sun said nothing but beamed a warm welcome to all in its realm.
“I don’t know what there is to smile about,” the little cloud said, its face turning darker. “Shall I tell you why I’m angry?”
The sun, still smiling, winked but didn’t reply.
“I’m angry because down there on Earth people are having fun. Earthlings can go wherever they like, while I’m stuck up here, bored out of my mind.” The cloud puffed up further and took aim, spurting out a waterfall that hit the red roofs of a town still sleeping off yesterday’s deluge. A church spire topped with a weathervane in the shape of a ship took the worst of the flood, making the ship spin around with a whirring sound. Had this been a real ship with a captain and crew, by now they’d be crying “man over board!” The surging and dipping of the screeching ship frightened a passing seagull so much, it squawked loudly and dived for safety into an oak tree.
“Oh grow up, will you? Spitting won’t help,” said the sun, no longer smiling.
The cloud looked down on the soggy mess that had once been a pretty town, where children ate ice cream in the park and dogs rolled around on their backs on lush green lawns. The cloud grinned. “Can’t you hear kids squealing down there by that bus stop? Just look at their mothers struggling to hold on to their umbrellas! Hah, one child has just slipped and fallen into the mud. Isn’t this fun?”
The sun disagreed: “Shame on you! I’m not coming to your birthday party, if that’s your idea of fun.”
At that rebuke the cloud turned slightly pink. “Suit yourself,” the cloud sniffed, but gave in when the sun winked again. “I’ll probably be busy looming over that town for a while longer, if you change your mind,” the cloud said. “You could start the party without me. A cloud is not like you – you can get up in the morning in one place and go to sleep in another. Best of all, your beams are everywhere at once. A cloud can’t be everywhere at once, which means I’m stuck here,” the cloud added after a moment’s consideration.
The sun nodded with an air of understanding. “I thought as much. Sun-envy. That’s why you’re so grumpy. Happens to the best of your kind. And you’re taking it out on that poor town. What you need is a sprinkling of magic dust to cheer you up.”
The cloud merely snorted and assumed an even darker shade of grey. “Magic dust, my soggy foot! There’s no such thing. I’ll be glued to this spot over this miserable little town forever, you’ll see. Nothing shall budge me, not even a hurricane. Magic dust indeed!”
A faint cry reached their ears. Cloud and sun looked down on Earth. In the town below one very small, very blue and very fed up alien was climbing out of a tiny blue spacecraft. The little alien turned her furry face up towards the sky. She shook all four of her tiny blue fists at the cloud. Her furry feet stood ankledeep in a puddle.
“Is this your idea of a warm welcome?” the little alien cried. A squall took her words and carried them up to the cloud and sun.
“Now look what you’ve done!” The sun exclaimed. “You’ve caused an interstellar incident!”
Well, there you have it. An alien finally arrives on our planet and we throw all the bad weather we can conjure up at the poor thing! To find out more about the Flippety Floppet’s time on Earth, keep stopping by here once in a while for news about the book’s release.