Count on Chris Gall to give me a WAPB Award contender for 2008. Two years ago his Dear Fish knocked my socks off with its intrinsic weirdness. There’s Nothing to Do on Mars is also strange, but because it is a whole other planet, it’s supposed to be strange. So actually, that makes Gall the perfect person to write and illustrate this book.
A boy and his family move to Mars, and he’s bored. There’s nothing to do and nobody to do it with, except his space dog, Polaris. They can’t go swimming because of the whole no-water thing, and the Martians might be cool, but they stink because they can’t shower because of the whole no-water thing. And sure, you can build a fort out of huge rocks because of Mars’s low gravity, but that gets so blah after a short time. What to do, what to do? Maybe explore a volcano-like formation, the consequences of which will change the whole planet? Yeah, that sounds good.
It’s a clever book, funny, and speaks to any kid who’s complained that there’s nothing to do. The (good) weirdness that Gall brings to his work reaches its full potential in this book.
I am reminded that I didn’t announce the WAPB Awards for 2007. Let’s aim for Monday on that, shall we? Groovy.
Oh, and submissions for the Carnival of Children’s Literature are due today. The February theme in honor of Leap Year is Leap Into a Book!