Little Davey Martin is bored. Bored bored bored. Why? The book title tells it all: There’s Nothing To Do On Mars. Davey’s family moved to the nice quiet planet to get away from it all. Unfortunately for Davey, Mars is a little too much get-away-from-it-all.
At least he has his robo-dog, Polaris.
But he doesn’t have much else. Even the Martians are awful — because there’s no water, they haven’t had baths for centuries. That makes the Martians a little too stinky for comfort.
Writer and illustrator Chris Gall shows how Davey tries to make some fun on Mars. The story’s great, the pictures lovely. There’s Nothing To Do On Mars was published in 2008 and is filed with a blue dot.
In this column you’ll find Good Reads orphans — orphans in the sense that they don’t have any obvious connection to each other, but they are all fun books that deserve to be checked out of the Lennoxville Library more often.
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems (2009), is a blue-dot book about the one exception to the nakedness of all naked mole rats, Wilbur. Wilbur likes clothes, from suits to astronaut outfits.
All his friends are angry with him, and they are quite mean about it. Until one day, Wilbur asks a question, and someone finally takes him seriously enough to consider the answer. The question is quite simple: “Why not?” Why can’t a naked mole rat wear clothes?
(Thanks to former Good Reads writer Michelle Barker for the donation of this lovely book, through the Adopt-A Book campaign. You can adopt your own book by checking out the display near the library’s front door! Do so in your name, or in someone else’s name as a gift.)
The Dear Canada series presents a set of diaries written by young people during some of the most important moments in our history. While the books are fictional, each author has carefully researched the time period and includes period photographs and ephemera. Blood Upon Our Land: The North West Resistance Diary Of Josephine Bouvier (by Maxine Trottier, 2009) begins in 1884, narrated by a 13-year-old Metis girl.
This is the story of the Saskatchewan uprising, with lots of fighting and guns (the British Gatling easily outperformed the Metis and First Nations shotguns), as well as portrayals of day-to-day life and a re-creation of political turmoil.
The Dear Canada series has an orange dot.
Finally, here’s something for those who snack while reading, Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program For Permanent Weight Loss, by Dr. Howard M. Shapiro (2000).
Some people manage to just stop eating — lunch is a lettuce salad with lemon juice and tomato, supper is a bland sandwich — for the rest of their lives! But few people can manage this kind of privation. Food, after all, is tasty, and deserves to be enjoyed.
Shapiro’s guide can be used as a diet book, but it’s also great for people who aren’t interested in a formal don’t-eat-this-or-that-or-this-other-fatty-food diet, but instead want to learn about what it is they’re putting into their mouths.
A simple muffin, even if advertised as fat- and sugar-free, still has almost half of an average person’s recommended calories (720) for a day. Two whole wheat rolls, often just as satisfying, have a mere 200 calories. Other surprises: Frosted Flakes have fewer calories than do many other cereals, and that old childhood standby, the PB and J, is still a great lunch choice. One last surprise: a half cup of Mott’s applesauce has more sugar than does a Hershey bar.
This is a really useful explanation of what goes into the foods we eat, and Shapiro uses a lot of pictures to compare calorie counts (making it an easy and entertaining read, so you might even forget how educational it is).
– Eleanor Brown, October 21, 2011