The Books

The Three Astronauts

by Umberto Eco
Illustrated by Eugenio Carmi

One Potato Review

From one of the world’s foremost thinkers, this story could hardly be any more straightforward. Or optimistic. Three astronauts – one Russian, one American, one Chinese – are rivalrous, terrified, murderous, then finally delighted to introduce a six-handed Martian to the fractious residents of their home planet whence they might continue their galactic explorations together “to found a great republic of space where everybody could live happily ever after.” Carmi’s illustrations are also spare that way, and playful, and representative (the American astronaut is wrapper from Chiclets). What’s thrilling is the possibility that children should care enough to follow these abstractions. They will. For many ages.

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