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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Different is cool,” says Tabitha Fink and it is cool to learn new things, even if, at first, they seem a little bit scary. But Tabitha Fink isn’t scared. In fact, she’s a cat on a mission to learn all she can, this time about the far distant planet of Mars. She knows that a lot of things are different on Mars, like the things Martians do for fun, how they travel, and the food they eat, but she doesn’t know what the differences are and she’s determined to find out.
Tabitha Fink makes an excursion to Mars in her spaceship and she meets some really cool young Martians who teach her how they play, how they travel, and what they eat. But there is one Martian who is afraid to come and meet Tabitha Fink. She reaches out in friendship and points out that it doesn’t matter if we’re all different, that’s what makes life so interesting.
Rick Felty’s colorfully illustrated picture book story, Tabitha Fink On a Mission to Mars, is a clever teaching tool to help young readers overcome or at least try to manage their fear of things that are new and different. By using a cute cat as the brave explorer, the story, with its rhyming verse and humorous innuendos, allows young readers to feel good and brave like Tabitha Fink. The cat herself is even different as she only has one eye, but that doesn’t stop her from exploring and learning about the universe around her. This is a great inspirational and fun story for young readers.