If You Were Me and Lived on... Mars

Carole P. Roman, illus. by Mateya Arkova. CreateSpace, $12.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-5408-6972-2
In this addition to the If You Were Me and Lived On series, Roman lets readers imagine themselves as future Mars colonists in the year 2054. Using conditional phrasing and writing in second person, Roman balances a sense of adventure with nitty-gritty details of what readers might expect to see, do, and encounter during their time on Mars (“If you first landed on the southern hemisphere of Mars, you would be prepared for a short and extremely hot summer”). However, the tense often changes from sentence to sentence, making for convoluted reading (“Your father is a scientist who plans to help farm the red planet. He would plant seeds in a room filled with both Earth and Martian soil. Scientists have tested the soil for years”). Arkova works in a soft, smudgy style, as though the scenes are siphoned through a layer of planetary dust, though her human characters feel rough and gestural compared to her Martian landscapes. Roman includes information about Mars’s atmosphere, moons, and gravity, but the flattened delivery mutes the excitement of what ought to be an exciting foray into the unknown. Ages 4–8. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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