Zibs for Sale

A retelling of Beauty and the Beast (I am an Alien)

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
28 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Everything and every living creature are not always how they appear. Even Zibs from outer space, with their delicious-looking creations, are not as they appear. On one hand, they look bright and colorful. On the other hand, they can be vindictive and cruel. That’s what Shirl discovers when she boards a Zib spaceship and tries one of the Zib’s delightful-looking cupcakes. That makes the Zib angry and he enslaves Shirl to wash his dishes. But more things go wrong and if Shirl can’t fix them, then she and her friend, Eee-ahh, will be stuck slaving for Zib forever.

Lois Wickstrom’s picture book story, Zibs for Sale: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (I am an Alien), is a clever outer space fairy tale that parallels the plot of Beauty and the Beast. The plot follows the luring and entrapment of Shirl aboard a Zib spaceship. Shirl, ever helpful and full of positive energy, is the Beauty that stands up to the Beast – Zib. The outer space element of this story brings the charming original tale into a new era, allowing young readers today to relate to the concept that beauty is only what the eyes see, and doesn’t reflect what’s deep inside a living creature. The illustrations are bright and boldly colorful and help move the story along. The three characters are well developed and suitable for the roles they play. The language is simple so a young reader can easily follow along. As the beauty within Shirl melts the Beast within the Zib, the story typically resolves into its expected happily-ever-after scenario. This is a fun story.