Henry Winkler’s credits span decades and it’s no surprise that his creativity knows no boundaries. An accomplished Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, director and producer, he will forever be known as the 1970s “Happy Days” American sitcom’s star Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. The Fonz had us all at hello and his effervescent personality mixed with his teen idol charm was irresistible.
While that throwback image of Winkler is embedded in many of our memories and certainly television pop culture history, today’s kids will now remember Winkler for his Buddy Burger character and Buddy’s wild and whimsical adventures.
Winkler teams up with Lin Oliver, a children’s book writer and producer, who is currently the executive director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. They collaborated to bring Buddy to life.
When 13-year-old Buddy Burger flees from his alien planet, he crash-lands where else? The backlot at Universal, of course, why not? Sounds reasonable for an alien, right? The ironic issue, though, is that no one is really caught off guard to see this six-eyed alien strolling around the lot. He’s immediately considered an everyday super cool occurrence as he lands a spot in the limelight. The only difference is he’s actually an alien, in other words, a real one, not an actor dressed as one.
As the tables turn and he’s discovered, Buddy is cast in a popular TV show as an alien. This overnight sensation learns what it’s like to be a TV star. He discovers what he has in common with celebrities as well as what he does not. As the pages turn and the story unfolds, Buddy is delightfully entertaining and also not so sure about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. This clever gem of a book takes its readers along a creative, full of fun, antic-filled journey as Hollywood meets outer space.
“Alien Superstar” is deliciously suited for kids who love a book filled with fantasy, reality and semi-catastrophes. Buddy is loveable and delightful, as is Winkler, who spins a tale that’s memorable. Super stardom is Winkler’s signature style. Two thumbs up for The Fonz’s latest book for young readers (and older ones, like me, alike).
The book will be featured on opening night, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in conversation with CNN journalist Holly Firfer.