cover image Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Markus Motum. Candlewick, $22.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9504-0

The Mars rover Curiosity narrates her own story in Motum’s handsome and engaging children’s book debut, from her construction in a clean lab in California to her multistage launch into space and landing on the red planet: “years of testing were needed to make sure everything would work correctly the first time. After all, if something were to go wrong on Mars, no one could come and fix me.” Motum’s mixed-media illustrations cleverly recall art popular during the infancy of space travel—muted colors and spare, geometric patterns compose often-diagrammatic illustrations. One close-up details the rover’s many parts: “Just like you, I have a shoulder, elbow, and wrist.” With one of its cameras resembling a large eye, Curiosity appears lifelike, almost E.T.-esque, in keeping with the first-person narrative. The book’s large trim size and expansive scenes work in tandem to evoke the vastness of star-filled skies and reddish Martian landscapes. Originally published in the U.K., this accessible look at interplanetary exploration will appeal to a broad range of young space enthusiasts. A glossary and timeline of Mars missions is included. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)