In the Pine Bush Area Public Library, we have a cute book called The Boy Who Went to Mars. It’s in the picturebook section of the Children’s Department. Simon James has written and illustrated it, and he draws a little bit like Quentin Blake, so you know it’s going to be darling.
“On the day Stanley’s mom had to go away, Stanley decided to leave planet Earth. ‘It’s just for work—I’ll be back tomorrow,’ said Mom. ‘Be good for Dad.’ Stanley ran out into the yard, climbed into his spaceship, and blasted off into outer space…heading for Mars.”
Stanley’s spaceship is made of a pasteboard box, and it has UFO painted on its side. Another spaceship, that looks a lot like that one, lands in Stanley’s yard and a small Martian crawls out of it and meets the older brother. The little Martian does not have a name, and does not want to wash his hands before dinner, or eat vegetables. He keeps his metal helmet on, even in bed. (The helmet must be a colander, with two pipe cleaners for antennae.) He gets into trouble in school.
Somebody is awfully upset that Mom went away on business, and he has made an alter ego to deal with the problem. So, it isn’t Stanley that has to deal with loneliness, or Mom not being there—it’s the little Martian who must deal with things.
Mom comes home! She kneels down and asks him, “Have you been a good little Martian?” And of course, he has not been. He runs away and pretty soon, back through the door comes Stanley, complaining about conditions on Mars, and very, very glad to see Mom again. It’s a cute book. Read it soon, in Pine Bush before any more UFOs arrive.