Book of the Week
This term’s Space theme has provided the inspiration for Zarah’s Book of the Week.
Zarah has selected The Boy From Mars by the author and illustration Simon James
Zarah’s reason for her choice:“This is such a great story with really good pictures. Will the real Stanley return home?”
Mrs Harvey would support Zarah’s recommendation. This is a heart-warming story of a little boy who misses his mum from award-winning author and illustrator Simon James.
The day that Stanley’s mum had to go away to, he decided to go to Mars. In his place, a not-very-well-behaved Martian arrived. He looked just like Stanley, but he wouldn’t eat his vegetables, he wouldn’t clean his teeth and he certainly didn’t play nicely in the playground. Dad’s not sure what Mum will think when she gets back. Will the Martian still be there, or will the real Stanley get back in time?
Simon James uses pen and ink to warm, descriptive effect. His storytelling is poignant, wry and nuanced. We watch William, Dad and Josh approach The Boy from Mars in different ways and wait, understandingly, for Stanley’s return. This is a very special, confident and empathetic picture book.
We have a range of Simon James’ books in our library. Most are concerned with a child’s relationship with the natural world – Dear Greenpeace, The Wild Woods and The Birdwatchers. These books have established Simon as one of the country’s leading author/illustrators. Leon and Bob won the Smarties Book Prize Silver Award and was the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and Days Like This, a collection of small poems, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.