“Wherever you are in the world right now, I’m a very long way away. I’m not even on the same planet as you. I’m a Mars rover. A rover is a moving robot, built to explore far-off places – places too far away or dangerous for humans to visit. How did I get here? Why was I sent? This is my story.”
So begins the story of the Mars Curiosity Rover, as told by debut author Markus Motum. Narrated by the robot itself, it tells of the background and events leading up to its conception, and its eventual launch and mission.
Aimed firmly at children over the age of six, the story is told in a detailed manner that still manages to be clear enough for young readers to understand, but likewise manages not to talk down to them either. There is some personification of Curiosity in places, but again, it doesn’t come off as condescending, which is quite a feat for a debut author.
Correspondingly, Motum’s illustration style is simple but detailed and effective also. Each image is rendered in bright, striking colours that really pop out on the page and beautifully complement the text.
In his author profile on Walker Books’ website, Motum states that he left a job he didn’t enjoy to return to university and study illustration. He also goes on to say that that he finished the first draft of Curiosity on his bookshelf for a year, unconvinced that it would find an audience. Certainly following his dream has proven to be a good move, and Curiosity is a book that more than deserves to have a high readership. It’s sure to inspire any budding astronauts or astronomers.
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum.
Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover is out now on Walker Books.