The Stray (Hardcover)
Adopting an extraterrestrial leads to hilariously mixed results!
When a family goes for a stroll one morning and encounters an adorable little creature with no collar or tag (who just happens to be sitting in the wreckage of an unidentified crash-landed object), they happily adopt the lovable stray. They name him Grub and set about training him, but that works surprisingly . . . poorly. Taking him for a walk is an unexpected adventure, too. As hard as they try to make Grub feel at home, it's just not working. Could he already have a family of his own? Maybe he isn't really a stray, after all--just lost. But how on earth will they be able to find his family when he seems to come from somewhere . . . out of this world?
About the Author
Molly Ruttan (mollyruttan.com) illustrated I Am a Thief (by Abigail Rayner), and The Stray is the first book she has both written and illustrated. She grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, earned a BFA in graphic design from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and established a career as a graphic designer and illustrator in Los Angeles. She is married to her childhood friend and music producer, Gabriel Moffat. In addition to illustrating, drawing, painting, and writing, and parenting three daughters, Molly works part-time as a freelance graphic designer; plays drums and sings in the eclectic-folk rock band New Garden; creates artwork for, records, and performs as a backup singer and percussionist in the progressive art rock band Phideaux (bloodfish.com); and is a member of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music's adult choir Silverlake Singers.
“What the narrator never mentions—but readers can instantly see—is that the stray is a pet-size alien whose spaceship has crashed to earth. . . . [Ruttan’s] digitally enhanced charcoal and pastel drawings have heightened textures and an inner radiance that infuse the everyday settings with a lovely fairy tale quality. One can almost believe that extraterrestrial magic really can happen in the most ordinary of places.”—Publishers Weekly
“Many of the narrative details are cleverly embedded in the artwork: while the text alone reads as though the family has simply found a stray dog or cat, the illustrations clearly depict Grub as a small alien creature with stalk eyes and pointy teeth. . . . Fun and layered, this is an appealing story for family bedtime reads.”—Booklist
Illegal is a poignantly moving story with a rich cast of characters, deeply relevant storylines, and rich with the deepest human kindness and endurance. Not without touches of levity and joy, but emotionally impactful where its important, we follow a young boy on his search for his brother, trying desperately to keep his family together when it seems the world is set on tearing him and his siblings apart in the search for a better life. Heartbreaking and hopeful, this story about the journey of an illegal immigrant hits fast and hard, with severe social importance at this time in our world. - Isabel