cover image Good Night, Oppy!

Good Night, Oppy!

James McGowan, illus. by Graham Carter. Boyds Mills, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-63592-319-3

Inspired by Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, which was active on Mars between 2004 and mid-2018, McGowan’s fictionalized telling describes Oppy’s various duties on the surface of the planet, highlighting some of the robot’s milestones (“She made a bunch of groundbreaking discoveries, like the time she found the mineral hematite”) and setbacks. “PING”s throughout convey italicized messages from Oppy’s scientists and engineers, while paragraphs presented in smaller font convey contextualizing facts throughout. Carter’s subtly textured digital spreads have a retro, sherbet-toned palette, depicting Oppy as big-eyed and expressive. Because Oppy is anthropomorphized here, her end at the hands of a brutal dust storm strikes a solemn concluding note; still, this narrative will prove engaging for those interested in robotics and space. Back matter includes an author’s note and photographs. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)