There's Nothing to Do on Mars

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
There's Nothing to Do on Mars Book Poster Image
Fab retro pics almost save tired story.

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Parents need to know that this book has nothing more offensive than kid-whining.

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What's the story?

Davey is bored so his parents send him out to play on the barren desert planet Mars.

Is it any good?

Kids who love everything about space would love to be in Davey's shoes, of course, but Davey's not that excited -- which is the subtle humor here. Davey, despite being in an intergalactic family helping to settle Mars, is bored. His parents do what parents everywhere do: tell him to go outside and find something to do. So off Davey trots with his mechanical dog, Polaris, to find adventure on the dusty red planet. 

Not subtle at all is the artistry; stand-out color-saturated tributes to style and design. From the family's Airstream rocketship to Davey's Chuck Taylors, the retro-minded story manages to be gorgeous enough to almost lift the hum-drum story. The keyword there is "almost." Despite aliens, giant fish skeletons, and a sudden flood, kids may be bored along with Davey. More style than substance makes this a hard sell to kids who want a good story and to the parents who have to read the book out loud.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's true about Mars and what isn't. Then as long as their talking about imagination, they can pack up a picnic and head to their own version of Mars.

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