Lulu Junior Author of the Month - Simon and Tilda

Lulu Junior Author of the Month - Simon and Tilda

By Emma Gutierrez / March 09, 2022

We’ve got a great story that is jam-packed with some very cool action! Our March feature is the book “Life On Mars! A Water Bear Story” written by Simon and Tilda. They take us on a journey all the way to Mars to help save the Earth. Let’s get into their story!

“All communication systems are ready!” The scientists were going to go down in world history. This was going to be the first time that scientists were going to send a water bear to Mars.

What is a water bear you may ask? These were special creatures that were the size of a cat. But 32 years before, there was an outbreak that only water bears could catch. It turned out to be quite devastating for the water bear population. The remaining water bears that caught the illness ended up growing 50 times their normal size!

Back in the lab, Dr. James and Dr. Hannah (who were siblings) were getting ready to launch the water bear into space. The water bear was very scared. Giant water bears had never been on a spaceship before. They didn’t even really know what space was. But this particular water bear wanted to see what was beyond Earth.

The scientists were on a mission to contact the giant life-forms that they had seen from afar on Mars. They figured out that there was only one other species that could interact with these life forms… the water bears from planet Earth!

In the spaceship, Mari the water bear could hear the crackling of the walkie-talkie. “Mari, do you report?” asked Dr. James. Mari was ready for lift-off! Dr. James counted down starting from 10. There was a loud rumbling noise and the rocket was off! Mari was bouncing around in her seat. She was going to make it! Millions of people were watching this important moment in history.

Lulu Junior Author of the Month - Simon and Tilda

Everything looked to be in order when there was suddenly a loud beeping noise. “Oh no! Something must’ve happened!” said Dr. Hannah. Mari and the spaceship were out in the universe.

Back in the spaceship. Mari couldn’t hear anything over the sounds of the rocket. Mari was in for a ride, it was going to take at least a week for her to get to Mars.

The spaceship was flying through space at incredible speeds, that the markings (W.B.U.S.A.) were almost coming off. The ship was going so fast she could barely see anything either. Was she going to make it? No one had gone to Mars or had ever come back.

But she could see that the spaceship was finally approaching Mars. The bright red color of Mars couldn’t be missed. Mari had never seen anything like it. She could see Olympus Mons (a volcano) towering over all the craters on the planet. Dr. James came in over the walkie-talkie, “You are approaching Mars in about two minutes. Be careful, because the life forms seem to be dangerous.” He began the countdown to landing.

Everyone cheered as the spaceship safely landed on Mars. Mari stepped out onto the surface on Mars. As she did so, she saw something run past her. She looked around but she saw nothing. Again, she heard something running past her. She began investigating where the sound was coming from.

She found the noise, it was a giant water bear! The water bear was huge. Mari tried to run away but the water bear caught her. “Where do you think you were gonna run off to?” said the giant water bear.

Mari was terrified. The giant water bear yelled out, “Aqua! Magnum! Ursa! Come here!” Three other water bears appeared. One was big, the other small, and the last slightly large. “What is it, Chief?” said Magnum (the large water bear.) The chief informed the other water bears that they had a new member!

The chief informed Mari that things on Mars hadn’t been the same since Earth had put the rover on Mars. Humans didn’t have a very good perception of the water bears. And the rover had actually run over the water bears’ village when they were out searching for food. Mari asked, “How did it run over your village? You’re so big!” 

The chief explained that this event had occurred before the same outbreak that had affected Earth. Back then, water bears were small. The same outbreak had spread around the universe and didn’t just affect the water bears on Earth.

The water bears on Mars were so upset that their village had been crushed by the rover that they wanted revenge! “YEAH!” shouted Aqua and Magnum. But Mari noticed that Ursa didn’t join them in their cheer.

Mari pleaded with the Mars water bears and tried to convince them that Earth was a great place. But the chief was going to proceed with their revenge and locked up Mari because she turned against them.

Chief put her in a large metal cage. Mari needed help!

Back on Earth, Dr. Hannah realized that they had lost track of Mari. “What will we do?” asked Dr. James. They only had one option; to take the rocket ship to Mars!

Five days later, they landed on Mars. Dr. Hannah walked over to the Chief and demanded to know what he had done to Mari. Chief yelled for the other two water bears to get Dr. Hannah to lock her up. Dr. James ran over to his sister, but in the corner of his eye, a giant muffin caught his attention. He was distracted by the muffin, but he heard the water bears and focused his attention on hiding as he saw the other water bears gathering.

The water bears started a countdown as they launched an explosive to the Earth, which turned out to be the giant muffin. In 5 ½ days, the water bears would get their revenge on planet Earth. Dr. James had to go help Dr. Hannah and Mari, but got caught and was thrown into the metal cage with them.

As they were trying to figure out what to do, Ursa came and whispered to them. She wanted to help them and break them out! Ursa liked Earth and wanted to help. As Ursa let them all out, Dr. James explained to everyone what was happening with the giant muffin headed towards Earth.

Dr. James came up with an idea to help save Earth! If they gathered all the water bears they could, and had one of them eat the giant muffin, they could stop it from reaching Earth. But wouldn’t it explode? Great question! It turns out that the water bears were immune to the explosions. It happened to be a side effect of the outbreak that happened years ago.

Dr. James made a speech to the water bears in a plea for them to help save Earth and the other water bears that lived there. The Mars water bears agreed to help with the plan! Everyone piled into the spaceship and the water bears were all able to chip in and eat a piece of the giant muffin to save Earth.

Dr. Hannah, Dr. James, and Mari were back in the spaceship on their way home. They helped save the day and save the whole planet!

Simon and Tilda’s story shows the creativity that brainstorming can bring, who knew an exploding muffin and water bears would make such an imaginative and original story. Thank you, Simon and Tilda for being our March feature!

Check out our interview below with Simon and Tilda to read about their advice for young authors, where they got their ideas for their stories, and more!

Read the Full Interview:

Where did you get your Lulu Junior kit? Who gave it to you?
Simon & Tilda: Simon got it from our grandparents for our birthday… our grandparents live in Costa Rica and it’s exciting to get gifts from them. We knew we wanted to write the book together right away!

Where did you get your idea for your story?
Tilda & Simon: We read through the booklet on how to start writing and we decided to do some brainstorming. While we were brainstorming I wrote down the words “exploding muffin” and Tilda wrote down the words “water Bears” and the story just came together from there!

How does it feel to be a published author?
It is very exciting.  I like to show my friends when they come over. 

What's the one piece of advice you'd share with another young writer?
Tilda: Always brainstorm first and then write the ideas you get!
Simon: It’s important to set the scene when writing, know where your characters are and what tone you want to make your reader feel.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Tilda: I like to play violin, write to penpals, and do art. We both just started ice skating too.
Simon: To play piano, I like to draw, and I like to code.

Do you prefer writing or illustrating? Why?
Tilda: I prefer illustrating because I get to read what the writer is writing and give them ideas and then I get to do art.
Simon: I prefer to be the writer because I like to come up with ideas and be imaginative.

What's one of your favorite books?
Tilda: Mandy by Julie Andrews
Simon: The Wildwood books by Colin Meloy

How do you like to set up your writing/drawing space?
Tilda & Simon: We like to work together at the same table with all of our art supplies and are writing ideas together.

What inspires you to write or draw?
Reading other books inspires me for ideas and also seeing other art. We love going to museums and we get lots of ideas from looking at books and reading books.

What do you want people to remember about your book?
Tilda -  that we did it together and that the story is about working together to solve problems. 
Simon - that the book is something new and different in science fiction.  It is funny and cute and exciting and serious at the same time.  

Do you know an author who is interested in sharing their story with us?  Please complete this form for a chance to be featured as Lulu Junor’s Author of the Month!