It’s Book Birthday celebration time for MOVING TO MARS,
written by Stef Wade / Illus. Erin Taylor / Capstone
which LAUNCHED (see what we did there?) recently.
7 Questions –and a DARE!
Q 1. The space theme continues with MOVING TO MARS– (from the same team that brought us A PLACE FOR PLUTO/ 2018). Did you set out to write a companion book? What was the inspiration?
Stef Wade: From the first story time I hosted for A PLACE FOR PLUTO, I knew just how much I loved talking to kids about space! I wanted to pull a character from A PLACE FOR PLUTO for my next book.
This Mars character came easily to me for two reasons:
1) Mars’ “OPEN HOUSE” sign from the original book
2) The press Mars has received over the years for the incredible ongoing exploration. At school visits, I love talking to students about the idea of living on Mars, so the idea came naturally.
Q 2. They say each of our books is a tiny bit autobiographical. Would you say you prefer peace and quiet like Mars does at first, or are you a “people planet”?
Stef Wade: I am DEFINITELY a “people planet.” While a little alone time is good, I would never consider myself a loner. Give me the people!
Q 3. Were you interested in space and the planets when you were a kid?
Stef Wade: While I never got my chance as a kid to be on Double Dare and win my trip to Space Camp, I’ve always been interested and awed by space.
That being said, I didn’t (and still don’t) know half the interesting facts I learn from readers and students! I’m constantly amazed at the in-depth and detailed knowledge kids have about space. It’s very inspiring!
Q 4. What surprises did illustrator Erin Taylor bring to your book?
Stef Wade: One of my favorite parts of being an author is seeing how an illustrator makes the book their own. Erin did an incredible job transforming Mars into a grumpy, old man, to a genial friend. I love the sidekick moons, the rovers, the space suit with the bow tie, and all of expressive faces of Mars. I fell in love with Mars and think readers will too!
Inspiration and Fun
Q 5. Who are your kidlit heroes—and how have they inspired you?
Stef Wade: My love for “sneaky learning” stems from reading books like The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole. I lived for those stories where they’d dive inside the human body, or turn into a bee to learn all about the world around us. I love to learn, but also believe learning should be fun. That’s what Joanna Cole inspired me to do!
Q 6. What do you hope readers will take away from reading your book?
Stef Wade: When I write a picture book, I typically aim for three things. A little bit of learning, a little bit of social emotional connection, and a lot of fun. I hope MOVING TO MARS inspires readers to discover more about the infinite possibilities of space and life on another planet. I hope it teaches kids to learn to be adaptable and open to change. I also hope to get a lot of giggles.
Q 7. What projects are you working on now? Will there be more planet books?
Stef Wade: I just completed a middle grade eco-mystery novel that’ll be going on submission soon! And I’m always writing more picture books – from historical fiction to ghost stories and more. While I don’t have another planet book in the works quite yet, I’m always formulating ideas for which planet should get its own story next!
The DARE : )
Q 8. If given the chance, would you take that one-way ticket to Mars?
Stef Wade: While I’m very intrigued by the idea of space travel, I fear my motion sickness would get the better of me on even a rocket to the edge of space. A 7-9 month journey would be out of the question. If you go, please send me a postcard!
Happy MOVING TO MARS launch, Stef Wade!
To learn more about Stef and her books,
check out StefWade.com