Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars

Curiosity on Mars

Written by Richard Ho and illustrated by Katherine Roy

A gorgeously illustrated tale explores the vast, inhospitable landscape of Mars and the adventures of the little rover that calls the planet its home.

Mars has a visitor. It likes to roam… observe… measure… and collect. It explores the red landscape―crossing plains, climbing hills, and tracing the bottoms of craters―in search of water and life. It is not the first to visit Mars. It will not be the last. But it might be… the most curious.

Join Curiosity on its journey across the red planet in this innovative and dynamic nonfiction picture book by Richard Ho, illustrated by Sibert Honor winner Katherine Roy.

Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan, October 29, 2019. Age Level: 3-6 years

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  • Since August 2012, the Mars rover Curiosity has roamed the surface of the red planet leaving tracks; climbing hills; tracing craters; and observing, measuring, and collecting materials from Mars' surface. This 2,000-pound car-sized laboratory includes a robotic arm, a laser, and 17 cameras. Using the perspective of Mars, Ho describes terrain, climactic conditions, and Curiosity's activities, emphasizing Mars' pride in the rover's accomplishments. Roy's digitally-enhanced watercolor illustrations (some resembling previously published photographs) feature red and orange hues prominently, and include many close-ups of Curiosity 's equipment, sometimes in action (as with the laser). Of particular note are spreads depicting the rover enveloped in a massive sandstorm, and a panoramic double gatefold emphasizing Mars' red terrain. The main text is brief, making this accessible for very young audiences, and allowing the artwork (which includes inset scenes, sound words, and symbols) to extend the narrative. Appended with a captioned drawing of Curiosity, Mars facts, and information about other rovers, this will be welcomed by browsers and budding astronomers alike.
    —School Library Journal
  • In this telling, the Curiosity rover resembles a less emotionally vulnerable, less anthropomorphized, but still adorable version of Pixar’s WALL-E. “The little rover likes to roam”; it zips around Mars, taking pictures and samples because “it is curious. It wants to learn about the world around it.” Besides, as debut author Ho reminds readers, this latest in a long, noble line of satellites and rovers is actually in constant communication with “whoever sent it. It tells them what it is like here.” It’s the contrast between Curiosity’s cheery determination and the forbidding world it inhabits that gives the book its power: Roy (Otis and Will Discover the Deep) renders many evocative images, among them a sandstorm created from swirling strokes of red, orange, and gray, and a double gatefold that drives home just how vast, red, and rocky the Red Planet is. Readers may be thrown—and perhaps a little disappointed—when the point of view shifts in the final pages from the eager Curiosity to the imperious Mars itself (“They call me Mars. I am not like your World”). But ultimately, the message remains the same: no one, and nothing, in the universe is truly alone. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
    —Publishers Weekly

Blog Posts About the Red Rover Book!

Unboxing the Book with Richard Ho and Katherine Roy

My latest picture book, Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars, is officially one week old today (hurray!) Check out this unboxing video with myself and author Richard Ho as we finally “meet” for the first time to discuss the writing and drawing process used to bring Curiosity to li
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Red Rover Revealed!

Mars has a visitor. It likes to roam, observe, measure, and collect. It is not the first to visit Mars. It will not be the last. But it might be… the most curious! Here’s our grand cover reveal for my next book, RED ROVER, by author Richard Ho, out on October 29, 2019! All
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