Greetings from Curiosity, roving the red planet since 2012!
With a wave of its arm, Curiosity introduces itself and the barren Martian landscape (“No humans have ever been here before. Isn’t that cool?”), then, while sending a celebratory selfie back to friends on Earth, sings “Happy birthday to me”—a ditty it actually was programmed to hum, though just on the first anniversary of its landing. In his blocky painted illustrations, Ross sends the excitable rover (“Oops—I made a dust cloud! I guess I should slow down”) trundling through a Martian sunset while extolling the virtue for which it was named, then switches planetary settings to show some of Curiosity’s “billions of friends” (or a diverse crowd of them, at least) gathered in a science museum for the party. With its boxlike, six-wheeled body, single arm, and red-lensed camera on a movable stalk, the rover manages to project lots of personality. For readers who are still, well, curious, Schonfeld closes with a page of Mars and Mars rover facts, plus the news that a new rover will be on its way in the near future. With its diminutive trim, the book even recalls a birthday card.
A sweet interplanetary message from a narrator who sounds for all the world like a younger version of the one in Markus Motum’s more seriously detailed Curiosity (2018). (Picture book. 5-7)