First Graders from Mars, Episode 1: Horus’s Horrible Day

Illustrated by Mark Teague

Horus was excited about starting first grade . . . UNTIL he discovered there were no slime tables, no snooze mats, and no snacks. UNTIL he got put in the Beta reading group instead of the Alpha. UNTIL he met the taunting Tera and found himself longing for the good old days of martiangarten. With inimitable charm, humor, and a touch of the alien, First Graders from Mars reassures all tentative students that first grade can happily take them where no martiangartner has gone before.

What people are saying:

“The familiar story of a first-grader’s first-day-of-school anxiety gets a cosmic boost in this title set on Mars. The reassuring, simple text, printed in large type suitable for beginning readers, is filled with hilarious space terms standing in for familiar school phrases, and Teague’s wonderfully imagined illustrations extend the galactic jokes and make Horus and his classmates irresistible. A great, lighthearted choice for nervous students, who will look forward to a sequel.” —Booklist

“Horus wears jeans, a striped shirt, and a backpack like any other first grader, but he travels to school in a flying cup (flying saucers are ‘so last century’), because his school is on Mars. The students are different types of Martians: some green, some blue, some polka-dotted—and all funny. Corey works some simple Martian-style language and clever puns into her story . . . . Additional layers of punny humor enhance the full-color, cartoon-style illustrations. Horus has the real fears of any entering first grader, and this story will be popular with kindergarten and first-grade teachers and students, who will be waiting for Episode 2.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Young Martians start elementary school in this reassuring comedy . . . in which the hero longs for the good old days of ‘martiangarten.’ Corey believably depicts Horus’s embarrassment and his conflict with his mother, who literally drags him to school the next day. Teague sets the action amid a Seussian landscape of spiky mountains, purple volcanoes and green anemones with eyeballs on their stalks. This universal drama takes a shrewd but optimistic look at first grade.” —Publishers Weekly

“It’s the first day of school on Mars and Horus is off to first grade. He had loved martiangarten with snooze mats, snacks, and the slime table. However, he quickly discovers that first grade is very different and he decides he doesn’t like it and he doesn’t want to go back. His mother returns her protesting child to school the next day and this time he meets a new student who has the same reaction he had. As Horus begins to reassure her, he forgets about his own doubts and offers to help her through her first day. An entertaining addition to collections that need more stories about the possible anxieties and excitement of the first day of school.” —School Library Journal

      • A Junior Library Guild Selection

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