The Definitive Guide to

The Stray

Written & illustrated by Molly Ruttan
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.2 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What Does Bookroo Think of The Stray

“A story that delights at the intersection of family pets and aliens.”

When a young family happens upon a crashed alien UFO, they discover inside a small creature with antenna eyes and a body the general shape and size of a small dog. Lacking a collar or tag, the creature appears to be a stray, so the family takes him home and names him Grub. While their attempts to teach Grub tricks are unsuccessful, they still lovingly consider him part of the family, even when his disruptive paranormal powers cause everything around him to float. Just as they begin imagining life with Grub—Dad pictures himself and Grub driving down the road, Grub’s head out the window and tongue flapping in the wind; while Mom pictures Grub cozied up at the foot of the bed; and the kids imagine Grub making playtime extra fun—they realize Grub is not a stray and is missing his extraterrestrial home. Fortunately Grub’s family has been searching for him, and he’s safely beamed back aboard their spaceship. Ruttan’s debut as an author is a fun, lighthearted story sure to please any child with—or who dreams of having—a beloved family pet. Her charcoal pastel and digital illustrations playfully capture the mayhem the good natured Grub unintentionally causes, though the pea green waves depicting the levitating power that emanates from Grub give both Grub and many pages an unpleasant hue.

What's The Stray About

Publisher Summary

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?

What Kind of Book is The Stray

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Human Development Degree, Book-loving aunt
The Goodfather
Husband. Father. Children's Book Critic Extraordinaire:)
Mom of Boys
Three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.

Book Lists That Include The Stray

Book Topics › aliens
Children's Books About Aliens
Book Topics › funny and humorous
Hilarious Children's Books Filled With Humor
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
Kids Book Club
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Who Wrote The Stray

author & illustrator
Molly Ruttan

Molly Ruttan ( 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 (; and is a member of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music’s adult choir Silverlake Singers.

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Book Details

Publication Date:
May 19, 2020

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