Volunteers needed in March!   Click here to sign up.
 Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

Mars Needs Moms

Last updated Monday, August 6, 2012

Author: Berkeley Breathed
Illustrator: Berkeley Breathed
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 039924736X
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2012

Synopsis: From School Library Journal
Milo just doesn't get what's so special about moms. As far as he can see, all they do is nag you to eat your broccoli and send you up to bed when you tint your little sister purple. So who needs them? Well, as it turns out, Martians do (they grow motherless from the ground like potatoes) and one night, three Martians sneak into Milo's house and steal his sleeping mother. The boy races after them, grabs onto the ladder of their spaceship, and boards it just as it blasts off. Once on Mars, he looks outside and finally understands why the Martians need a mom so badly–They needed driving to soccer! And to ballet! And to playdates, parks, and pizzas! Plus cooking and cleaning and dressing and packing lunches and bandaging boo-boos! Just then, he trips and falls and is saved by–you guessed it! And the sympathetic aliens take the boy and his mother home. The story ends with Milo waking up in his mother's bed, cuddling next to her. In typical Breathed form, the illustrations are lush, plush, and over-the-top with color, attitude, and craziness. The picture of the Martians trying to bait a mom with what looks suspiciously like a brand name Grande coffee on a line is hilarious, to say the least. Share this witty and sweet tale with young readers and their moms for a wacky treat.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who takes care of you in your life?
•  What would you do if you ended up on Mars?
•  Do you think aliens are real?

•  Bellowing: shouting in a deep voice
•  Tyrants: harsh ruler
•  Exhausted: tired
•  Sensible: showing good judgment

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How did Milo describe his mom before she got taken away?
•  How did his view change?
•  If your mom were taken to Mars, what would you do?
•  Why do the Mars martians want moms so much?

Craft ideas:
•  Spaceships using construction paper. Roll construction paper into a tube as the body of the spaceship and add wings.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!