Space – The Final Frontier. One can’t help but think of all the wonders outer space holds when one hears this phrase. Though this phrase is associated with a science fiction classic, it applies to reality just the same. The universe is so vast and gorgeous, how can us humans not be curious about all the secrets it has. Outer space is one of those things that intrigues those of all ages. Though all too often resource material for the super curious, young space enthusiasts is difficult to come by. Those that are too young to understand much of the complex terminology often have more questions than there are age-appropriate worded explanations. So when a book comes out that can open another area of the cosmos to a young mind, it deserves attention.
CURIOSITY: The Story of a Mars Rover, by Markus Motum, beautifully blends eye-catching, detailed illustrations with a wealth of technical information in a way that a child not only can understand but be drawn in by. Non-fiction children’s books can often border on either being dry due to being too complex and wordy or too simple. This telling of the journey of NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, is perfectly balanced. It is fact-filled without being overwhelming. After reading it, little inquiring minds will feel smarter with their minds filled with new facts, while also being curious to learn more.
Motum takes readers from the why the rover was created, through the construction processes, on to the Mars mission itself and finally to why the rover is still important today. Between his illustrations and writing-style, he brings the Curiosity to life. The descriptions of each leg of the Curiosity’s journey show how landing a robot on another planet is not as easy as the movies and tv make it seem. Also, the drawings on each page help create a truthful visual of how probes are developed and launched into and travel through outer space. By giving a personality of sorts to the rover, young readers identify it more as a character than just an object. This aspect is an added bonus in keeping young minds engaged in the topic. Overall, CURIOSITY: The Story of a Mars Rover offers readers of all ages a glimpse at a complex space journey in a way that can be understood and enjoyed.