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THERE’S NOTHING TO DO ON MARS by Chris Gall Kirkus Star


by Chris Gall & illustrated by Chris Gall

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-16684-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

Following a story arc that’s been popular at least since Ellen Raskin’s Nothing Ever Happens On My Block! (1966), young Davey fails to find anything to relieve his boredom in the rugged Martian landscape—not the fish skeleton, the giant face, the half-buried Mars Rover or even the horde of froggy Martians leaping about in a wild (and, of course, futile) rain dance. Engraved on clay-coated board and then digitally finished, Gall’s dazzling illustrations feature sharply defined, naturally posed figures placed against big, orange, wind-sculpted rocks beneath a greenish sky. Witty details abound, from Davey’s home, which is an old Airstream trailer perched atop a giant rocket motor, to his pop-eyed robot dog, who tends to leak battery fluid when stressed. Ultimately, Davey finds all the adventure he could want when he digs into the crater atop Olympus Mons and unleashes a titanic flood—but then the neighborhood quickly becomes overcrowded with new arrivals, and Davey’s dad suggests moving on to Saturn. There probably won’t be much to do there, either, right? (Picture book. 6-8)