on October 19, 2000
Having been a staunch Eco fan for quite some time, I stumbled across this book and its companion, "The Bomb and the General" quite by accident in a book search. Of course, I purchased both books, ostensibly for my two children, but secretly they were for me. I would give this book a higher rating if I was reviewing it solely for an adult audience.
The collage artwork is charming, and the text has the universality of a fable. However Eco never indulges in sentimentality when dealing with the serious subject matter of human intolerance and the need for a global consciousness (heavy stuff!) Children will enjoy the tale - perhaps the illustrations are not glitzy enough for today's market, but their simplicity enhances the mythic quality of the writing.
Hopefully, this book will trigger some indepth discussion between children and their carers about human nature. An excellent eco-friendly book for ALL the family!
on March 11, 2014
I LOVE this book. It is such a great and unique take on a classic story and lesson about not judging others based on appearances. It is written so simply as to be masterful. Besides having a great message and sharing that message beautifully, every page is extraordinarily illustrated with a fantastic collage. It is one of those books that is just the right amount of art, intrigue, strangeness, familiarity, and beauty.
on May 30, 2013
The pictures are extremely abstract collage....kind of interesting. The story is a great favorite of mine. I've used it with young kids as well as with junior high kids. I had the junior high kids dramatize it! The story is about three astronauts who land on Mars simutaneously and fear and hate each other because they are froom different countries. In the cold, dark Martian night they each hear the others calling for their mama in their respective languages. They become friends, but immediately draw weapons when a Martian appears. They areamazedtolearn that the Martian is not so different either. By the way, the book was written by the famous novelist Umberto Eco (whose novels I could never get into).
on July 19, 2000
We purchased this book for our son whose reading material is at the 4 to 8 yrs level.
This is a picture book & the story is about three astronauts (one from USA, one from China & one from Russia) who find themselves together in a situation where they learn to overlook their differences & learn to work together.
Our only disappointment with this book is the symbolic representations (illustrations) used to depict the three astronauts. Our son was expecting to see the astronauts depicted as people. The astronauts are represented by three pieces of paper - the American is a piece of chewing gum paper, the Russian & Chinese are represented by pieces of paper with Russian & Chinese script. While I can see merit in the concept, I really do think this level of comprehension is beyound that of a child.