Mars Needs Moms!
Reviewed: July 1, 2007
By: Berkley Breathed
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguins)
38 pages, $21.00
subversive mind of Berkley Breathed comes this clever little spoof about
mothers and their sons. The title suggests that the writer-illustrator had that
old sci-fi pic ďMars Needs WomenĒ in mind while he was writing, drawing and
like his mom much. She wrecks things: steals summer by making him work in the
garden: ruins meals by serving broccoli and carrots; makes him miserable by
having him do household chores, like taking out the smelly garbage; gets upset
when he tints his sister all over with perma-fab dye.
are thundering, humorless tyrants,Ē he thought.
enough to make him yell, ďI SURE DONíT KNOW WHATíS SO SPECIAL ABOUT MOTHERS!Ē
when she packed him off to his bedroom.
on Mars, where the Martians have no mothers because they grow out of the ground
like potatoes, the Martians have been watching Earth, and have decided that
they need moms. The raiding party has a little trouble initially, but they
manage to gas Miloís Mom and haul her off to their ship. Milo only just hears
them and manages to follow them for reasons he canít quite put together.
on Mars that Milo learns why Moms really matter. I wonít tell you how that
happens, except to say that itís the first time we see his Mom through
something other than the eyes of an angry child.
have the feeling the Berkley Breathed has a lot of fun doing his work. This is,
I believe, his fourth childrenís picture book since the days of the Bloom
Country and Outland comic strips. Seems to me the little boy in the first strip
was called Milo, but I canít look that up right now because the wifi hotspot
supposed to be offered by Rogers Internet isnít working at this motel just
rate, itís an amusing tale told in words, single and double page paintings and
smaller sketches that show some of the necessary action sequences. Lots of fun