Space-loving Heather dreams of being whisked up into space by the aliens and UFO’s that she reads about in her books. One night she runs into the forest to Cotton Rock where she sits under the light of the moon and stars, flashing her torch into the darkness, hoping to attract the attention of alien spacecraft. When her wish is answered, Heather makes an alien friend and is having the best of times until she notices her family are looking for her and decides to head home.
Her mind full of the incredible encounter, she longs to see her alien friend again but despite numerous visits to Cotton Rock, there is no sign of the spacecraft. As time passes and Heather ages, she tries all sorts of ways to communicate with her alien friend but nothing works. Until one day, with Heather now an old lady, the spacecraft returns and Heather has to make a difficult decision, does she leave everything behind on Earth and head out for the adventure of a lifetime amongst the stars or does she already have everything she really needs right here at home…
Lights on Cotton Rock is a dazzling read with wonderful messages about family, friendship, home and valuing what we have. There is no doubt there are times that we all feel like escaping from the world we find ourselves in and for Heather that escapism comes in the form of Cotton Rock where she hopes to be whooshed up into outer space. As Heather ages, her dreams of an alien encounter never diminish but what she learns over time is to value what she has and her decision to remain on Earth is her understanding that what really matters is her family and home. This is such an important and valuable message for young readers - of course we may dream of getting away and escaping but we should never forget what we have and should value the here and now.
The sweet story is accompanied by illustrations that are quite literally out of this world. David Litchfield is an expert at contrasting light with dark and readers will be captivated by his artwork. Some of the double page spreads are literally bursting with colour and are truly mesmerising.
A great introduction to the science-fiction genre for younger readers and proof that the grass is not always greener on the other side. The grass we are stood on right now is often just perfect.
Recommended for 5+.