Today we’re taking part in the blog tour for AN ALIEN IN THE JAM FACTORY written by Chrissie Sains and illustrated by Jenny Taylor. This is a hilariously funny book about Scooter McLay, a boy with cerebral palsy which affects how quickly he can move his body. Scooter is an inventor with a hyper-creative brain and the book follows his adventures with his top-secret alien sidekick.
Please read on for Lily’s review of the book and for our exclusive interview with author, Chrissie Sains!
I loved An Alien in the Jam Factory, I read it all in two days because it was so satisfying to just sit down and read about all of Scooter’s crazy adventures. Scooter is a child-genius, I don’t get how he comes up with all of those fabulous jammy inventions. Although Scooter suffers from cerebral palsy, which affects how he moves around, he never lets it stop him from having adventures.
I really like how the author Chrissie Sains wrote this story and normalises the fact that people may have disabilities but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun adventures.
I enjoyed reading about Fizzbee the alien and she seems very adorable. It is very funny to read about her and Scooter and their jam-filled quest to save the factory. I find Boris, the guinea pig, too funny to put into words, Daffy Dodgy’s trusty sidekick is absolutely hilarious!
I couldn’t stop laughing whilst reading this, I hadn’t even stopped afterwards!
I loved this book so much I hope everybody enjoys it as much as I did!
– Lily (age 10)
How did you get the idea for An Alien in the Jam Factory?
I was having a jam tart and a cup of tea with my children (they like tea). My daughter picked up her jam tart from her plate, started making aeroplane noises and pretended to fly it towards her mouth.
‘Ooh’ I said (quite excitedly) ‘Imagine if a tiny alien crash landed through the window and flew around in a little jam tart’. We grabbed a Brussels sprout out of the fridge (because it was green like an alien), put it into the jam tart and flew it around, dropping crumbs all over the kitchen floor. From that moment, the story idea was born!
Was Scooter inspired by anyone?
Yes! Scooter was inspired by my goddaughter, Abigail who, like Scooter, has Cerebral Palsy. She’s very determined like Scooter too, though there are also lots of differences between them!
Abigail came up with the Hand-Bots invention. When she was asked what invention she would make, her answer was that she would make robotic helping hands to help her pick things up and so I included this in the book.
Where did the idea for Fizzbee come from?
Fizzbee started out as a Brussels sprout in a jam tart. A small, round, green alien. But somehow a Brussels sprout didn’t quite match her personality. Brussels sprouts are a bit smelly and yucky and I had in mind that Fizzbee would be bouncy and fun and highly excitable. My daughter had a small orange rubber bouncy ball, so we swapped the Brussels sprout for the orange bouncy ball and that seemed to suit Fizzbee much better.
What is your favourite flavour of jam?
What is the strangest thing you like to pair with jam?
I really enjoy a spoonful of blackcurrant jam in a big bowl of custard.
Why did you want to become an author?
I love storytelling and capturing children’s imagination. I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding.
Can you sum up your book in one sentence?
A jam-packed adventure, filled with bonkers inventions, lots of laughter and SO MUCH JAM!
What was your favourite scene to write in the book?
Any scene with Boris in! He is such fun to write.
The first book in a hilarious, jam-packed new adventure series starring Scooter the inventor and his top secret alien sidekick.
Scooter McLay’s cerebral palsy affects how quickly he can move his body, but his hyper-creative brain is a constant fizz of brilliant ideas. He spends every day inventing top secret recipes and machines for his family’s jam factory. There’s just one thing missing … a pet, to share it all with. Or better still, a friend. When a tiny alien named Fizzbee crashes through the factory window, she might just be the answer. Now it’s all hands on deck, as they team up to save the factory from dastardly neighbour Daffy Dodgy.
For readers age 6+
Thank you so much Chrissie for your generous time answering our questions and to Walker Books for providing us with a copy of An Alien in the Jam Factory for us to review and for the pot of the delicious jam!
An Alien in the Jam Factory is out now.