I have a confession. I had read Ready, Set, Mars several days before writing my review. I had a draft saved (drafts are done to sort out ideas) and it was saved as Mars. Um… Mars? What was that book? It was Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson’s picture book due in late August 2023.
I needed to start again, this time browsing the text and focusing on the art. It came back to me, and I was thinking that I remembered it, and why I was not familiar with the file name was tht it had not grab me. I did not remember the art at first, but that came back and it was still cute (Tammie Lyon has some Steven Kellogg vibes going on). And finally, on the first page two things happened: the first was I remembered the shot of the younger brother and Jet and me thinking, “That reminds me of another book. Which one?” And the second was that noticed that Jet has a nickname, which is Jet. Her given name is Juliet, and that is on the flag on her rocket ship. It says JuliET (the J, E and T highlighted/upper cased).
The rocket is important because Jet wants to go to space. And so does her brother. And by the time the book is over, they are in space with several friends, exploring and realizing that each one of them has their own talents to help the mission. But first, they need to save a snake Jet names Di Vinci, who becomes her best friend and is very artistic.
Take the actual trip to Mars as real or their imaginations, but the idea is that they learn that there must be trial and error, there must be thinking inside and outside the boxes, the must be doing and failing. Not to mention that teamwork is a great way to work. The book might not be original, but it has moments of being fresh, with some role reversals, diverse characters in the friends and the idea of siblings being realistic (arguing and helping each other) without being overly “bratty.”
Great for the fans of space, science, technology and stories that I forget I have read them.