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Mars Needs Moms! Hardcover – April 10, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Milo just doesn't get what's so special about moms. As far as he can see, all they do is nag you to eat your broccoli and send you up to bed when you tint your little sister purple. So who needs them? Well, as it turns out, Martians do (they grow motherless from the ground like potatoes) and one night, three Martians sneak into Milo's house and steal his sleeping mother. The boy races after them, grabs onto the ladder of their spaceship, and boards it just as it blasts off. Once on Mars, he looks outside and finally understands why the Martians need a mom so badly–They needed driving to soccer! And to ballet! And to playdates, parks, and pizzas! Plus cooking and cleaning and dressing and packing lunches and bandaging boo-boos! Just then, he trips and falls and is saved by–you guessed it! And the sympathetic aliens take the boy and his mother home. The story ends with Milo waking up in his mother's bed, cuddling next to her. In typical Breathed form, the illustrations are lush, plush, and over-the-top with color, attitude, and craziness. The picture of the Martians trying to bait a mom with what looks suspiciously like a brand name Grande coffee on a line is hilarious, to say the least. Share this witty and sweet tale with young readers and their moms for a wacky treat.–Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Milo doesn't see what's so great about mothers. After all, his makes him eat his broccoli and carrots and do chores around the house and garden. When Martian raiders arrive and abduct the mothers, Milo steals on board their spaceship and discovers why the moms have been kidnapped: so that they can drive the Martians to their Martian soccer games in their Martian vans, pack lunches, and put Band-Aids on cuts. When Milo's oxygen supply is nearly cut off, his mom is there to save him, and he finds new appreciation for mothers. The colorful, almost three-dimensional computer-generated art, interspersed with old-fashioned black-and-white line drawings, are the highlight here. The Martians are suitably comical, and the pages are filled with subtle little jokes, including plenty for adults (e.g., the Martians use Starbucks coffee to lure the moms onto their spaceship). Funny and visually striking. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
Best known for the satire of his iconic 1980s comic strip, "Bloom County", Breathed has since freed select Bloom Countians from the constraints of the newspaper in children's books he has written and illustrated since 1991. "Mars Needs Moms" features a boy named Milo, the only named character in a read that is quick yet deeply textured.
Breathed's artwork catches each sneer and eye-roll of the suffering Milo with accuracy that parents will immediately recognize. The digitally rendered acrylic drawings are wonderfully three dimensional. Superb highlights emerge as he captures events unfolding in both terrestrial and Martian lighting. Many of the pictures include depth of field effects borrowed from photography, and the backgrounds offer extra laughs for the attentive. Although the accompanying text is short and simple, it is not without substance, as Breathed acknowledges the influences H.G. Wells and Harper Lee.
The agitated Milo, perhaps ten years old, is weary of the relentless demands of his mom. Eat your vegetables. Take out the trash. Mind your manners. Don't dip your sister in dye. Breathed unapologetically uses a temper tantrum followed by a "go-to-your-room-young-man" dream sequence to set up the book's fundamental lesson. While this borders on hackneyed, his winking invitation for us to play along succeeds.
Milo's epiphany comes on Mars, surrounded by goofy Martians seeking the nurturing moms provide (including transport via minivans). The reality of the harsh Martian atmosphere offers Milo a clarifying glimpse into the enduring willingness to sacrifice that is a staple of motherhood. If you cried when Ol' Yeller died: then keep the hankies nearby for the final frames of this book --even as it remains ultimately kid-friendly.
I saw the preview for this movie (which was awesome) and when I learned it was a book, I knew I had to read it. Berkeley easily convinces his readers that Martians from Mars could very possibly come to Earth and nab our Moms...they need rides to soccer, someone to cook and clean, pack lunches, and bandage boo-boos, just like we do. The Martians even use Starbucks coffee as bait to help them nab Moms on the street. Milo's character and language is well developed which allows readers to relate to him and makes the story even more believable. Mars Needs Moms! also shows potential for the classroom, children could write their own stories about venturing to Mars or other fantastical creatures in need of mothers.
I was perusing amazon looking at space themed books for my son and the artwork on this one caught my eye. I checked it out from the library to see if it was worth purchasing. My 7 year old daughter pulled this one out of the stack of library books and read it straightaway. I noticed that she read the book over and over, so I sat down to read the book myself. I was pleasantly (in a teary eyed, quivering lip kind of way) ambushed by the message of this picture book. Who knew a picture book could have such deep meaning. Breathed conveys that meaning with his words but more so with his stunning artwork. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words! I won't spoil the climax of the story but will say that this book would be a great gift to any mom, especially from a child (hint, hint dads). I was going to order numerous copies for Christmas for my mommy friends but it is out of stock. But there is always Mother's Day!!
I asked my daughter why she thought this book was so good and this is her review:
My favorite part of the book is when Milo figures out what is so special about mothers and I think the pictures are wonderful.
I hope you really enjoy the book as much as we have.
The art is wonderful, and the story quickly gets to the point. It is a good story to share with children who may not fully appreciate how much their moms do for them. I left it laying around on the coffee table so the kids could pick it up and read it without prodding. We are still working on the appreciation part, but they definitely got the point.