Hey-Ho, to Mars We’ll Go!: A Space-Age Version of "The Farmer in the Dell"

Charlesbridge. Jan. 2023. 28p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781623543761.
PreS-Gr 1–A board book version of a space-age “The Farmer in the Dell” follows four children astronauts of varying skin and hair colors on their journey to Mars, beginning with the rocket’s blastoff and concluding with exploration of the planet’s surface. Each jaunty rhyming verse in large black letters addresses a simple aspect of living in space, with a few longer facts and explanations interspersed in smaller non-rhyming white font throughout the story. Some of the text layout mimics the havoc that the lack of gravity plays with objects in space, turning the paragraphs every which way so that readers must rotate the book as well. Kolar’s bold stylized graphic illustrations in bright oranges and blues feature friendly smiling faces, and just enough details to be engaging but not overwhelming. They perfectly complement the upbeat text, creating an exuberantly cheerful and exciting vision of space exploration.
VERDICT A fun and appealing board book adaptation for reading aloud, suited to acquainting the youngest audience with space travel.

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