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Touchdown Mars! Hardcover – May 8, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors, a teacher and a research scientist, make their children's book debuts in this uneven alphabet book chronicling an expedition to Mars. Opening with the words "You are an astronaut!" the narrative places readers among the eight-member crew of youngsters (and one spacesuit-wearing cat) boarding a Mars-bound rocket. As the spacecraft soars through the atmosphere, a number of the alphabetically driven entries are inconsequential and strained (e.g., for the letter D, "You are going up up up in the right direction"; and for F, "Your journey will take you very far"). Additional, boxed text on each page offers more solid information, but it is often either hypothetical ("You may find that most of the rocks are similar to the ones you can find on Earth. Many of the rocks might come from lava flows and volcanoes") or leaves readers hanging ("You pick at layers of bright, crumbly rock with a rock hammer. You examine fragments with a magnifying glass. What do you see?"). A concluding "Mars A-B-Cyclopedia" will likely be appreciated more by a considerably older reader than that of the elementary narrative. Chesworth's (Archibald Frisby) watercolor and ink pictures inject some spark, but rely on a more somber, textbook-like palette to portray the young astronauts' activities within the spacecraft and their exploration of Mars. Ages 4-8. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-This journey to Mars combines space facts with letters of the alphabet. Many of the alphabet connections are weak (F: "Your journey will take you very far" and I: "You will be inside your spacecraft-"), but the brief facts included with each letter are just enough to entice young readers. Likewise, the alphabet and detailed drawings will appeal to pre-readers. The meatiest chunks of information are found in the appended "Mars A-B-Cyclopedia." The cheery, cartoon-style drawings done in watercolor and ink are the highlight of this title. Kids will enjoy following the busy blend of multicultural characters and a calico cat as they make their preparations and journey through space. Black-and-white drawings of the solar system and a diagram of the spacecraft's orbit are featured on the endpapers. Despite the feeble alphabet associations, there is much here for young space enthusiasts to explore.
Carolyn Stacey, Jefferson County Public Library, Arvada, CO
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First edition (May 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399232141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399232145
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my daughter (Peggy is her Kindergarden teacher) thinking that it would be fun for her to have a book written by her teacher - and we ended up with a great book. Written in the first person, it puts childern in the role of an astronaut, with wonderfull illustrations that detail how their spaceship might work, or what their mars base might be like. The book is playful enough to grab and hold my daughter's attention in this wonderful fantasy, but filled with enough science and fact to send her mind racing with surprising questions about what it's like "out there..." Really a great book to teach true science in a fun way. Outstanding.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first looked at the vocabulary of Peggy Wethered's Touchdown Mars I felt it would be over my 3-4-5-year olds' heads. But when I introduced the book and began to read, the children moved in for closer looks. They followed the abc's from Earth to Mars with keen interest. They talked among themselves between letters, pointed to things they recognized, laughing and playing with the words they were hearing. It was a wonderful experience and I congratulate Putnam Publishing Company for a real coup in producing Mrs. Wethered's work for all ages.
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By Aspen Richter on December 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My child has been obsessing over this book for two days straight! There is a good combination of elements for varying interest levels -- pictures to grab attention, an alphabet sentence to give information, and extra information text for those who want to read it and know more.
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By mrgrinch09 on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book that introduces the concepts of outer space and the alphabet all at once. Well done!
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