Emma on Mars
by Billy Dunne (Author) Vanessa Port (Illustrator)
Picture Book, Science Fiction
One day our kids will inherit this world from us along with all the good and bad that goes with it. More and more young people realize that they can make a difference in what that world will look like. “Emma On Mars” is a fun look at the situation. Part picture book, part make believe, all kinds of science fun, this book is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of stewardship to the under ten crowd.
Emma realizes the Earth is a mess and her parents are too busy to do anything about it so she decides to move out. After designating Mars as her destination (other planets being too hot or too cold) she sets out to build a rocket and fly there. Once there though she realizes that Mars has changed too and that she would rather just fix Earth than live somewhere else.
Kudos to the author for blending kid fun in with hard science. Emma, denied a rocket engine until she is older, explains to her teddy bears how she will use a balloon for thrust. Not having seven months to travel to Mars in such a short book, she will get there by the next page ans I absolutely love that the villainous Mars robots are rovers. In my mind I can imagine how much fun they would have playing make believe with an industrious seven year old. Yes, I know they are simply machines, but I read a lot of kids books. 🙂
Parents will enjoy the subtle jokes, kids will enjoy the fun fantasy and educators everywhere will appreciate the end round approach to science. The illustrator has done a bang up job of capturing the little scientist at work while not losing one bit of the kid power inspiration behind it.
I received an advance review copy through Maverick Publishing and Lerver Books for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Emma is angry that her parents have made such a mess of the planet! She goes off in search of a new home, and Mars looks perfect! A story that subtly explores saving the planet and also teaches children about the solar system.
Billy Dunne was born in London, raised in Scotland, and studied for his Physics PhD in Hamburg. He now lives in Reading, England, with his wife and child and isn’t moving again anytime soon.
Vanessa Port lives in Cleveland, OH. She work mostly on children’s illustration and greetings cards. She loves to draw cats and women that inspire her.