Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hey-Ho, To Mars We'll Go! A Space-Age Version of "The Farmer in the Dell"
by Susan Lendroth
Illustrated by Bob Kolar
Charlesbridge, 2018

Hey-Ho, To Mars We'll Go! is one of an increasing number of nonfiction books with several different uses or target audiences. The book's primary, large font text, is written for singing to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell." The singing factor, combined with large, computer-created, colorful cartoon art, makes this a perfect choice for storytime crowds. Older folks (teachers, caregivers, elder siblings, and the like) will appreciate the smaller text insets that elaborate on the verse,

"Can you catch my sock?
Can you catch my sock?
Hey-ho, to Mars we'll go—
Can you catch my sock?"

"Imagine what a mess you could make without gravity. At home, if you leave your toys on the floor, they stay where you've dropped them. But in space, anything you don't put in a cupboard or fasten in place will drift like dandelion fluff, bouncing off walls and your crewmates."

The book begins with the launch, follows the crew during the journey, and ends with exploration of Mars. To give a sense of the journey outside the Earth's gravitational pull, the text and the pages have varying orientations—several pages are designed to be read upside-down.

Anything that introduces and interest in science and space exploration is a welcome addition to any library collection.

Discussion and Activity Guide for Hey-Ho, To Mars We'll Go!

Bob Kolar is also the illustrator for one of my favorites, The Boy & the Book.
My copy of Hey-Ho, To Mars We'll Go! was provided by the publisher.

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