Mars Needs Books!: A Science Fiction Novel

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Milo This picture book was a Golden Duck Award winner. Milo secretly hitches a ride on the spaceship, and witnesses all the things his mom does for Martians. Things go awry for Milo on Mars, and in an effort to save him, his mother almost dies. As a result, Milo develops a newfound love and appreciation for her. Also, both Milo and his mother seem a bit too one-dimensional. Before going to Mars, all we know of Milo were his constant complaints and tantrums. Mother was only viewed through his eyes, so no endearing qualities were apparent in her. I also viewed this as a DVD movie.

The movie is about 80 minutes long, so understandably, a more elaborate plot had to occur than what exists in a 40 page picture book. He becomes involved with characters human and Martians along his journey and must overcome many dangerous and threatening situations on his way.

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On Mars, there are no mothers. No mothers to cook, clean, or carpool, no mothers to bake, bandage, or baby you, no mother to kiss you, miss you, or even discipline you. And so the Martians have been watching, waiting, and planning. And there's one little boy who cannot for the love of Mike figure out what's good about his mother.

She a "bellowing broccoli bully" and a "slave-driving, trash-mashing, rubbish odor ogre.

Legendary rocket scientist's 1949 science fiction novel features a Martian leader named... Elon!

And after one especi On Mars, there are no mothers. And after one especially trying afternoon from both of their perspectives , he tells her so. Much to Milo's surprise, that night the Martians arrive and decide to take his mother back for their own. He takes off after them, finding himself aboard their ship, where he dons a helmet and waits to arrive on Mars.

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Upon landing, he tumbles down the gangway, and he makes it just fine, but the helmet doesn't. And so it comes to pass that one little boy, in one quick instant, realizes exactly what makes mothers so special. Author and illustrator, Berkeley Breathed has,in this mother's eye, conceived an amazing book. The illustrations alone show the progression of this ugly "bellowing broccoli bully' into a beautiful Adonis like creature. He has created with words and illustrations a true love story between a mother and her son.

This picture book be used with all grade levels, but best with K Could be used as a thematic book for Mother's Day or as a great hook for curriculum lesson on planets. Feb 12, Heidi rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction-fantasy. Ages Golden Duck Award Winner Although I am not usually a fan of digital artwork, there was something undeniably charming and funny about these images. Berkeley Breathed creates appropriately surreal settings on Earth and on Mars. I especially like the juxtaposition of the computer generated drawings and the pared down black and white sketches.

The fantastic visual quality of this book was, for me, soured by the one-dimensional, stereotypical portrayal of the mother. Curlers in her hair?

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Come on. I agree that the unappreciative child's names for his mother are hilarious-"perfumy garden goblins" and "broccoli bullies"-but I wish that before his mother saves his life on Mars and he nearly loses her for good, finally realizing her value which, realistically, may or may not really happen until sometime in his twenties , I wish she was portrayed as more than a nagging, chauffeuring, boo-boo bandager. Yes, it is true that most mothers will love their children "to the ends of the universe," but their value extends beyond that.

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That being said, my kids loved the soon-to-be animated feature film story. Mar 14, Tressa rated it really liked it Shelves: juvenile , My son wants to see this movie, and his dad found this book when they were at a used bookstore. This is a book I enjoyed reading to my son so he can see that moms force their offspring to do terrible things like wash their hands and eat their veggies because they love them. I might have to make this a night read until it sinks in.

Jan 03, Heather rated it it was amazing Shelves: children. Makes me cry. My son wonders why I always cry when I read him this one. View 1 comment. Mar 28, Garrett rated it it was amazing. If you are unfamiliar with it, lets just say it wasn't the most reverent of comics. So I came away from Mars Needs Moms both not surprised and surprised. I wasn't surprised about the very blunt and disrespectful way that Breathed had his main character describe moms in the beginning, nor was I surprised at the over the top stereotypical illustrations especially the ones found on pages 14 and I was however pleasantly surprised at the story pulled at my heart strings.

The tale is somewhat goofy. A child complains about moms and how strict they are, making them eat healthy foods and take out the trash, and then he gets in trouble with his own mom for having dyed his younger sibling purple. That night, martians go to his home and steal his mom. He chases after them and manages to steal away on their vessel to mars. There we find out that the martians stole the mother because "They needed driving to soccer! And to ballet! Plus cooking and cleaning and dressing and packing lunches and bandaging boo-boos!


The boy, while going over to tell the martians that their notion of motherhood is "completely sensible", trips and breaks his helmet. The boy starts to suffocate. The mother takes of her helmet, and places it on his head.

source She then begins to suffocate. Luckily the boy gets help and they find another helmet. In the end they all get home safely. I have to admit, Breathed has a great story here, and mixed goofiness with sentimental value very well. In the beginning, it is clear that the boy is not very fond of doing chores, nor of eating vegetables, nor of getting in trouble, even though he does not explicitly say any of these things.

Instead of telling the readers "my mom made me do yard work", he instead says that mothers "were giant, summer-stealing, child-working, perfumy garden goblins". Instead of saying that he had to eat his vegetables, he says that "Mothers were also bellowing broccoli bullies and carrot-cuddling cuckoos.

Being able to infer meanings is a common skill tested on many standardized tests, and it can be hard sometimes. Practicing with obvious cases such as these will prepare new readers to infer more subtle messages later on in their literary experience. Thus Breathed's book becomes not only entertaining, but educational as well. I would like to bring Breathed's illustrations to particular attention.

They are detailed, beautiful, and well made, but what makes them especially fun are the little extras that Breathed puts in them. On the fourth page, all of the paintings on the wall look at the boy, forced to eat his veggies, with scorn and disgust. While he takes out the trash, the dog tries to get a taste of some of the juice spilling off of the boy's face from a can on the top of the pile. Perhaps the most entertaining is the martian's choice of bait for catching mothers: a cup of Starbucks coffee.

These little additions make the book more entertaining, and encourage spending more time looking at and talking about the pictures. Certainly it improves the experience for children who cannot read, because they can still contribute novel information to the story and other readers. One more thing that I wish to mention is Breathed's illustrative portrayal of the boy's mother.

For a grand portion of the book the reader does not even get to see her face. Instead they are presented with shadowy, oppressive figures donned in sun hats thrusting hoes upon their children, or hands donned with dripping wet yellow rubber gloves pointing at a plate of unfinished broccoli and carrots. We see only her outline against the stark white light behind a closing door. Her head is down, her shoulders slumped. Her sorrow and pain coming from the boys stabbing comment are sharply felt by the viewers. She is blurry, and shown only in black and white, in stark contrast to the sharp, colorful, loud illustration of the boy on the opposite page.

Breathed certainly created an emotionally moving scene, especially for parents. However, the reader still does not get to see the mother's face. That does not happen until she must save her child's life. We first get to see, once again, her silhouette, framed against the martian sun as she walks nobly up to her dying son and takes off her helmet, dress blowing dramatically in the wind. This dramatic scene gives an air of suspense, and prepares the reader for the moment when the mother's face is seen.

On the next page, we don't see a beauty queen, nor a tyrant, but a bedraggled face with a hair curler dangling across her forehead. Her eyes are tired, but filled with love. One may even note the hint of tears in her eyes. She is not angry at her son, merely concerned for his well being. This image captures one aspect of being a parent, the aspect that one would do anything for one's child, even give one's life without a second thought. Through the rest of the book, we see her either lying dramatically in the martian sand, or lying at peace in bed cuddled with her child.

These illustrations really bring to life Breathed's message--Mothers are special, and not because they make life miserable through chores or vegetables, nor because they can be familial bus driver or doctors. Those are only side-effects. Mothers are special because they love their children.

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