From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Introduced in Mousetronaut (S & S, 2012), pint-size ace Meteor is back, secretly training for America's first human mission to Mars. When he doesn't make the crew list, he stows away and carefully stays hidden as he observes onboard life during the six-month journey to the red planet. Once in orbit, a failed engine means the landing will be scrubbed-the one remaining engine isn't strong enough to carry a human. That's when Meteor offers his small self as mission savior and becomes the first mouse on Mars. Payne's signature mixed-media artwork is realistic yet playful and gives readers a glimpse into space flight with excellent use of spreads. The themes of persistence and how immaterial one's size is are strongly present and will resonate with children. The four-page afterword discusses the history of Mars and mankind, what a flight to Mars would entail, and the benefits of space exploration, and offers details about the planet. While preschoolers will enjoy the tale, the afterword also makes this title perfect to share with primary-grade students in units on planets and space exploration.-Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Meteor, the star of Mousetronaut (2012), is excited to accompany other astronauts on a six-month mission to Mars. He has exercised, studied, and eavesdropped until he feels more than ready to take on this new challenge. So when the names of the multiethnic and multigender crew are announced, he is shocked and disappointed to learn he is not among the chosen. Undeterred, he manages to slip onboard and hides away for the duration of the flight to the Red Planet. When a problem arises that can potentially end the mission, Meteor comes up with the solution and, of course, saves the day. Large, delightful mixed-media illustrations combine realism (Mission Control) and cartoon (Meteor lifting weights, packing his suitcase, and floating through the cabin). A four-page afterword by the author tells the history of and the potential for the exploration of Mars. Children will enjoy the tale of how the smallest member of the crew becomes a national hero in the yearlong journey. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Maryann Owen