Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review - Mars' First Friends

Mars' First Friends
by Susanna Leonard Hill
illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Date: 2020
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 42
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

From the creators of New York Times bestseller Moon's First Friends!

Mars' First Friends is a universal story about man's—and Mars'—best friends—our beloved pets. In this sweet solar system book, Mars is lonely and just wants someone to play with, but the planets are all too busy. That is until Earth sends her little brother, Mars, his first pets: the rovers Spirit and Opportunity! With its darling prose and charming illustrations, this book offers a new take on the Mars rovers stories, and also includes educational back matter with an abundance of information about the solar system, Mars, and the Mars rovers.

(synopsis from NetGalley; see it on Goodreads)

This is a cute book that combines a fictional story about an anthropomorphized planet with scientific facts about the planets in our solar system (Mars in particular).

Mars longs for a pet. His siblings hog Pluto. The others don't feel like playing with him, either. He asks his father, the Sun, for help, but all his dad tells him is to play with his siblings. One day, though, his sister Earth sends him a gift: rovers named Spirit and Opportunity!

The premise is kind of cute, although not strictly factual. The story about a kid longing for a pet is pretty universal, though, and the ending is sweet. But the book's real strength lies in the non-fiction section at the back. Kids who are interested in outer space, planets, or exploratory missions to Mars will probably find this part fascinating.

Turning the Mars rovers into pets is a cute concept. It works.

Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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