Just in time for Halloween, we have—
It starts off innocently enough when Fred and Nell’s parents head off for a pleasant evening, leaving the kids with Grandma:
Pretty dull, isn’t it?
Grandmas all over the world are babysitting their grandchildren….
Should we just close this yawner right now? Talk about bait and switch! Where are the grandmas from MARS, I ask you??? The ones we’re seeing are sticklers for being on your best behavior. But then—
“Meanwhile on Mars…” triggers the moment that things get way more interesting. Martians want power over the world’s children! Power that only grandmas have!
Grandmas are beamed up to Mars and replaced by Martians who tell the kids to eat junk, stay up all night, and run WILD!
There’s something unpleasant about Grandma’s smile….and is that a spare eyeball?”
When the kids rebel against the Martians, the imposters go crazy in a Godzilla kind of way. Massive destruction, police activity, you name it.
The kids band together and develop a plan to stop them. How?
I’ll give you a hint: MWAH!!!
Each child plants a juicy kiss on grandma. The imposter grandmas are so grossed out, they head back to Mars and send the real grandmas back.
Nell and Fred’s parents come home to a wrecked house, and in response to their question about their children’s behavior:
“Like two little angels,” Gran says with a shrug. “Look here comes Grandpa…”
Now, you could say there are a few logic holes, and a couple of the rhymes are a little forced, but this book is sure to be a kid-pleaser for Halloween.
The illustrations add another level of cartoon creepiness to those Martian grandmas. One even has Snidely Whiplash’s menacing grin (if anyone remembers him).
One last note: it may be good to follow a reading up with a discussion about asking for and consenting to hugs and kisses, whether from friends or relatives.
Title: Grandmas From Mars
Author: Michelle Robinson
Illustrator: Fred Blunt
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2018
Themes: silliness, Martians, grandparents
For more perfect picture books, check out Susanna Hill’s blog.