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The Book that Saved the Earth: CBQs | NCERT Solution | Board Exam 2024

Updated: Jan 15

Mother Goose is a well-known book of nursery rhymes in English. Do you think such a book can save Planet Earth from a Martian invasion? Read this play, set four centuries in the future, and find out.

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  • The purpose of writing "The Book That Saved the Earth" as a science fiction piece appears to be primarily entertainment with a blend of humour, satire, and imaginative storytelling.

  • Claire Boiko crafted this story to engage readers or listeners, offering a light-hearted and whimsical exploration of miscommunication between Martians and Earthlings.

1. Entertainment: The primary goal is to entertain the audience. The story is filled with humorous situations, absurd misunderstandings, and playful use of nursery rhymes, creating an enjoyable reading or listening experience.

2. Satirical Commentary: The narrative employs satire to comment on the absurdity of misinterpretation and the potential consequences of jumping to conclusions. Through exaggeration and humor, the author highlights the folly of making assumptions based on limited information.

3. Imagination and Creativity: Science fiction allows for the exploration of imaginative and creative concepts. The story takes everyday objects and scenarios and transforms them into something fantastical, showcasing the author's creativity in reimagining familiar elements.

4. Cultural Exploration: The theme of cultural differences and miscommunication provides an opportunity to explore how different societies or species might perceive and misunderstand each other. This exploration contributes to the broader science fiction genre's tradition of examining social and cultural dynamics.

5. Reflection on Human Behaviour: The story, despite its extraterrestrial setting, reflects certain aspects of human behavior, particularly the tendency to make assumptions and misinterpret unfamiliar things. It encourages readers to reflect on their own communication habits and the potential consequences of misunderstandings.

6. Educational Elements: While the primary focus is on entertainment, the story introduces elements related to space, intelligence, and cultural exchange. It could serve as a fun way to spark interest in science and space exploration among younger audiences.

Overall, the purpose of writing "The Book That Saved the Earth" seems to be to provide a delightful and thought-provoking experience, using the lens of science fiction to explore themes of miscommunication and cultural differences in an imaginative and engaging manner.


"The Book That Saved the Earth" by Claire Boiko is a humorous science fiction story set in the twenty-fifth century at the Museum of Ancient History, specifically in the Department of the Twentieth Century on the Planet Earth.


The setting of the story is the Museum of Ancient History, specifically in the Department of the Twentieth Century on the Planet Earth. The action takes place in the twenty-fifth century. The story begins with the Historian welcoming the audience to the museum and her department, where she focuses on the peculiarities of the twentieth century. The majority of the action is likely to unfold within the museum as the Historian uses a hysteroscope to show events from the past, particularly the Martian invasion of 2040.

Character List

1. Historian: The central character who introduces the story and sets the stage. As a historian, she plays a crucial role in narrating events and providing context to the audience. Her interaction with the hysteroscope suggests a blend of futuristic technology with a historical perspective.

2. Lieutenant Iota: The military character, denoted by the rank of lieutenant. This suggests a conflict or threat that involves the military, fitting with the later mention of a Martian invasion. The inclusion of a military figure adds a sense of urgency and seriousness to the narrative.

3. Great and Mighty Think-Tank: A character with a distinctive appearance, characterized by a huge, egg-shaped head and adorned with a robe decorated with stars and circles. This character appears to be a significant figure, possibly with advanced intelligence or knowledge. The name "Think-Tank" implies a strategic or thoughtful role.

4. Sergeant Oop:** Another military character, denoted by the rank of sergeant. The inclusion of multiple military characters suggests a military-centric plot or conflict.

5. Apprentice Noodle: This character's role as an apprentice implies a learning or support function. The name "Noodle" adds a whimsical touch, suggesting a lighthearted or comedic element to the narrative.

6. Offstage Voice:** The voice that is not physically present on the stage but plays a role in the unfolding events. This character may have a mysterious or unseen presence.

7. Captain Omega: Mentioned in the character list but not present in the opening scene, leaving room for anticipation of the captain's role in the story.

Commentary on Page 63-64

The Historian welcomes the audience to the Museum of Ancient History and her department, which focuses on the peculiarities of the twentieth century. She explains that the twentieth century was known as the Era of the Book, where books covered a wide range of topics. She introduces the idea that a book from this era saved the Earth from a Martian invasion in 2040.

The Historian then turns on a hysteroscope (a type of projector) to show the events of 2040. The spotlight shifts to Think-Tank, a character with a large head, seated on a raised box. Think-Tank is wearing a robe decorated with stars and circles. Apprentice Noodle is standing beside Think-Tank at an elaborate switchboard.

The story suggests that the Martian invasion was averted by a single book, and the Historian intends to use the hysteroscope to reveal what happened in 2040.

The excerpt provided sets the stage for the unfolding of events, promising a humorous and imaginative tale involving characters like Think-Tank, Sergeant Oop, and Captain Omega, as well as the crucial role of a book in saving the Earth from a fictional Martian invasion. The narrative combines elements of science fiction and comedy, making it an engaging story for readers, especially school children.

Critical Commentary on Opening Scene

The setting in the twenty-fifth century at the Museum of Ancient History's Department of the Twentieth Century establishes a futuristic context. The Historian's welcoming gesture and the spotlight on her create a theatrical and engaging atmosphere.

The mention of the twentieth century as the "Era of the Book" and the subsequent description of books as instructional and diverse sets the stage for the importance of literature in this narrative. The humorous tone, evident in phrases like "the strangest thing a book ever did," suggests a playful and possibly satirical approach to the story.

The revelation of a Martian invasion in 2040 and the claim that it was prevented by a single book create intrigue and set the plot in motion. The choice of a book as the savior of Earth introduces a fantastical and imaginative element to the narrative.

The transition from the Historian's introduction to the hysteroscope projection introduces the blend of futuristic technology and historical storytelling techniques. The appearance of Think-Tank and the apprentice, along with the military characters, hints at a collaboration between different sectors to address the Martian threat.

Overall, the character list and opening scene of "The Book That Saved the Earth" establish a unique and engaging premise, combining elements of science fiction, humor, and historical reflection. The characters introduced suggest a diverse ensemble with specific roles in the unfolding narrative.

Commentary on Page 64

In the story, we enter the Mars Space Control, where Great and Mighty Think-Tank is the Commander-in-Chief. Noodle, an apprentice, enters and bows before Think-Tank. Think-Tank is a powerful and intelligent creature. Noodle asks for orders, but Think-Tank is a bit annoyed because Noodle forgot part of the greeting. Noodle apologizes and repeats the greeting properly.

Think-Tank wants to communicate with a space probe that Mars has sent to a small planet they plan to rule. Noodle informs him that the planet is called Earth. Think-Tank considers Earth insignificant. Before contacting the space probe, Think-Tank wants to consult his mirror, which seems to be something important.

Word Power

1. Peevishly: Annoyed or irritated in a petty or petulant way.

2. Salutation: A polite expression of greeting or goodwill.

3. Singsong: A way of speaking with a rising and falling rhythm, like singing.

4. Generous: Willing to give and share; showing kindness and magnanimity.

5. Insignificant: Not important or noteworthy; lacking in significance.

Critical Commentary

The author employs a satirical tone to depict the interactions within Mars Space Control, particularly between the authoritative figure, Great and Mighty Think-Tank, and his subordinate, Apprentice Noodle. The exaggerated formality and ritualistic bowing add a humorous touch, emphasizing the absurdity of the Martian characters' hierarchy. Think-Tank's peevish demeanor and the comical repetition of the salutation by Noodle further contribute to the humor. The reference to Earth as a "ridiculous little planet" highlights the Martians' condescending attitude toward humanity, enhancing the satirical commentary on interplanetary relations. The scene sets the stage for a lighthearted and imaginative narrative, blending science fiction with humor to engage the audience, especially children.

Commentary on Page 65

Noodle hands Think-Tank a mirror, and Think-Tank, in a somewhat vain manner, addresses the mirror, asking who the most intellectually gifted being is. An offstage voice responds that it's Think-Tank himself. However, Think-Tank is not satisfied with the speed of the response and smacks the mirror, expressing his impatience. He then admires himself in the mirror and comments on the attractiveness of Martians compared to Earthlings.

Noodle expresses his aspiration to have a "balloon brain" like Think-Tank's, to which Think-Tank amusingly agrees. Think-Tank instructs Noodle to contact the space probe, expressing the desire to invade Earth before lunch. Noodle acknowledges and begins adjusting levers on a switchboard, initiating electronic sounds as the curtains open.

Critical Commentary

The author employs humour and satire to create a lighthearted and entertaining atmosphere in the Mars Space Control. The interaction between Think-Tank and Noodle highlights the absurdity of Think-Tank's self-absorbed personality. Think-Tank's use of a mirror to affirm his intellectual superiority, complete with a whimsical incantation, adds a touch of playful narcissism to the narrative. The offstage voice's prompt response adds comedic timing to the scene, emphasizing Think-Tank's desire for quick affirmation. The contrast between Think-Tank's arrogance and Noodle's eager admiration further underscores the humor. The author cleverly uses this comedic exchange to satirize the arrogance of those in positions of power and the absurdity of Martian superiority over Earth. The scene sets a humorous tone and introduces the reader to the eccentricities of the characters, making the reader curious about the impending invasion of Earth by the Martians.

Word Power

1. Primitive: Relating to or characteristic of an early stage of development.

2. Vain: Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth.

3. Admire: To regard with respect, approval, or pleasure.

4. Impatience: The state of being impatient; unable to wait.

5. Aspiration: A strong desire or ambition.

Commentary on Page 65 | (Scene 2)

A few seconds later, the setting shifts between Mars Space Control and the Centerville Public Library on Earth. At Mars Space Control, Captain Omega is at the center, confusedly opening and closing card catalogue drawers. Lieutenant Iota is up left, counting books in a bookcase, and Sergeant Oop is at the right, inspecting a book in a peculiar manner.

Meanwhile, Noodle is adjusting knobs, providing information to Think-Tank. Think-Tank, now wearing enormous goggles, turns toward the stage to observe. Noodle reports a close sighting of the space crew, noting that they seem to have entered some Earth structure. Think-Tank is pleased and instructs Noodle to make voice contact.

Critical Commentary

In this scene from "The Book That Saved the Earth," the narrative swiftly shifts from Mars Space Control to the Centerville Public Library on Earth. The stage is set with Captain Omega, Lieutenant Iota, and Sergeant Oop engaged in amusingly confused activities, reflecting their unfamiliarity with Earthly surroundings. Captain Omega struggles with a card catalogue, Lieutenant Iota counts books, and Sergeant Oop comically interacts with a book. Noodle, adjusting knobs, relays information about the space crew's encounter with an Earth structure to Think-Tank. The use of stage directions and character actions contributes to the comedic atmosphere, showcasing the Martians' perplexity in a terrestrial setting. The scene hints at the cultural clash and the Martians' lack of understanding of Earth's systems, setting the stage for further comedic exploration in the storyline.

Word Power:

1. Card Catalogue: A system of organizing information about books in a library, usually on index cards.

2. Confusedly: In a manner that lacks clarity or order; with confusion.

3. Riffling: Quickly flipping through the pages of a book.

4. Enormous: Very large in size or amount.

5. Voice Contact: Establishing communication using spoken words.

Commentary on Page 66 | (Scene 2)

Noodle, at Mars Space Control, speaks into a microphone, attempting to contact the crew of Probe One. Captain Omega responds, speaking into a disk around her neck, informing Mars Space Control that they have arrived on Earth without incident and have taken shelter in a square place.

Lieutenant Iota, while holding up a book, expresses confusion about their location and suggests it might be a storage barn due to the peculiar items (books). Sergeant Oop is equally perplexed, humorously speculating that the items might be hats and even puts a book on his head.

Captain Omega acknowledges their confusion and suggests seeking the wisdom of Great and Mighty Think-Tank for insight.

Critical Commentary

The comedic tone is evident as the characters from Mars Space Control attempt to communicate with Captain Omega and the crew of Probe One, who have landed on Earth. The use of technology, such as microphones and disks, adds a futuristic touch, blending science fiction with humor. The absurdity is heightened when Lieutenant Iota and Sergeant Oop, confused by their surroundings in a library, speculate about the purpose of books, with Oop comically suggesting they might be hats. The humor is underscored by the characters seeking the wisdom of the Great and Mighty Think-Tank, creating an amusing dynamic between the Mars Space Control crew and their eccentric commander. Boiko cleverly integrates elements of sci-fi, wordplay, and satire to create an entertaining narrative that engages readers with its playful exploration of interplanetary misunderstandings.

Word Power

1. Probe: A device or instrument designed to investigate and gather information.

2. Haberdashery: A shop or section of a store where men's clothing and accessories, especially hats, are sold.

3. Peculiar: Strange or unusual; distinctive in nature.

4. Perplexed: Confused or puzzled.

5. Speculating: Forming a theory or conjecture without firm evidence.

Commentary on Page 67 | (Scene 2)

Think-Tank, watching the crew on Earth through communication devices, instructs Captain Omega to hold up one of the items (a book) so he can examine it closely. He humorously misinterprets the book as a part of a crude refreshment stand, believing Earth creatures are always eating. Omega relays this information to Lieutenant Iota and Sergeant Oop.

Think-Tank identifies the item in Omega's hand as a sandwich, a staple of the Earth diet. The crew is surprised by this revelation, and Think-Tank orders them to eat it to confirm his opinion. Captain Omega hesitates, and Think-Tank, with confidence, challenges her to trust the Mighty Think-Tank.

Critical Commentary

In this excerpt, "The Book That Saved the Earth" humorously combines science fiction with a satirical take on human culture. Great and Mighty Think-Tank, a character with a comically inflated sense of intellect, confidently identifies a book held by Captain Omega as a "crude refreshment stand" or, more specifically, a sandwich. The scene unfolds with the crew members expressing bewilderment at Think-Tank's interpretation, showcasing the absurdity of the Martian perspective on Earthly things. The use of the term "Elementary, my dear Omega" adds a playful nod to Sherlock Holmes, infusing a touch of pop culture reference. The interaction between Think-Tank and the crew highlights the story's comedic tone, and the notion of ordering an alien to eat a sandwich adds an amusing twist to the cultural misunderstanding. This segment captures the story's wit and imaginative exploration of extraterrestrial encounters with everyday Earth objects, presenting a lighthearted commentary on the quirks of human behavior and consumption.

Word Power:

1. Elementary: Simple or basic; easily understood.

2. Undoubtedly: Without a doubt; certainly.

3. Crude: In a raw or unrefined state; not processed.

4. Staple: A main or important element of something.

5. Squint: To look with eyes partly closed, especially to see more clearly.

Commentary on Page 68 | (Scene 2)

Captain Omega, Lieutenant Iota, and Sergeant Oop from Mars find themselves in a library on Earth. Their leader, Think-Tank, mistakes books for sandwiches and tells them to eat. Lieutenant Iota feels it would be impolite to eat before Sergeant Oop, so she asks him to eat the "sandwich." Oop pretends to eat the book, making funny faces because it's dry.

Noodle, another character, remembers that Earthlings use sandwiches as communication devices, not for eating. Think-Tank proudly claims he was about to mention this and declares the books are "communication sandwiches." The crew salutes Think-Tank, and he orders them to listen to the books.

Critical Commentary

The author employs satire and absurdity to depict the Martian characters' encounter with a seemingly mundane Earth item—a sandwich. The dialogue unfolds with a playful exploration of Martian confusion and misinterpretation, as Think-Tank mistakenly identifies a book as a sandwich and believes it to be a significant element of Earth's refreshment stands. The author cleverly uses the Martian characters' reactions to the concept of eating a sandwich, creating comedic moments, especially when Lieutenant Iota and Sergeant Oop are ordered to consume it. The satire extends further when Noodle provides a comically irrelevant piece of information about Earthlings using sandwiches as communication devices, which Think-Tank confidently accepts. The scene combines elements of humor, absurdity, and social commentary, offering a satirical take on the Martian understanding of Earth's culture and technology. The repeated salutes and affirmations of Think-Tank's infallibility contribute to the comedic tone, emphasizing the absurdity of the Martian perception of Earth. Overall, the excerpt showcases the author's skill in using humor and satire to engage readers and highlight cultural differences in a whimsical manner.

Word Power

1. Dubiously : In a doubtful or hesitant manner.

- *She looked at the unfamiliar dish on her plate dubiously before taking a cautious bite.*

2. impolite: Not showing good manners; rude.

- *It's considered impolite to talk with your mouth full during a meal.*

3. Pantomimes : Expressing something through gestures without speech.

- *The actor pantomimed the actions of opening a door, creating a silent and comical scene.*

4. Trifling : Unimportant or trivial.

- *Don't waste your time on trifling matters; focus on what truly matters.*

5. Haughtily : In a proud and arrogant manner.

- *The rich man haughtily dismissed the idea of taking public transportation.*

6. Saluting : Performing a gesture of respect, often raising one's hand to the forehead.

- The students stood in the classroom, saluting their teacher as a sign of respect.

Commentary on Page 69 | (Scene 2)

Certainly! In the story, Captain Omega, Lieutenant Iota, and Sergeant Oop are told by Think-Tank to listen to the books, thinking they are communication devices. The Martians, confused, bow low and try holding the books to their ears, but they hear nothing. Think-Tank questions them and wonders if he made a mistake.

Omega, Iota, and Oop discuss their lack of success in hearing anything from the books. They attempt to listen again, but the result is the same—silence. Think-Tank questions if someone is suggesting he made an error, and the crew reassures him they will keep trying.

Noodle then recalls information that Earthlings don't listen to sandwiches but watch them. Think-Tank clarifies that these "communication sandwiches" are for eye communication, not for listening. He instructs Omega to pick up a large, colorful "sandwich," which is actually a book titled "Mother Goose," and observe it.

This twist reveals that the books are not for hearing but for seeing. The characters continue to explore the Earthly items in a humorous and imaginative way, creating an entertaining and engaging storyline.

Critical Commentary

The comedic element is prominent as the Martian crew, under the command of the self-assured Think-Tank, attempts to follow his orders to listen to the books, which they believe are communication devices. The absurdity reaches a climax when the Martians, perplexed, hold the books to their ears and hear nothing. The humor lies in their confusion and Think-Tank's haughty response, questioning if he made a mistake. Noodle, a character with a cloudy piece of information, adds a twist to the situation by suggesting that Earthlings open and watch the "sandwiches." The comedic irony becomes apparent as Think-Tank realizes the books are for visual communication, not auditory. The scene is a playful commentary on misunderstandings and the absurdity of misinterpreting everyday objects, adding a layer of satire to the story.

Word Power:

1. Intently: With close attention or concentration.

- *She listened intently to the instructions before starting the task.*

2. Frequency: The rate at which something occurs or is repeated.

- *The radio station broadcasts at a frequency of 98.5 megahertz.*

3. Sharper: Having a more acute sense or ability.

- *Some animals have sharper senses than humans, allowing them to detect subtle changes.*

4. Clarify: To make something clearer or more understandable.

- *The teacher clarified the instructions so that everyone could follow them.*

5. Startled: Suddenly surprised or alarmed.

- *The loud noise startled the cat, causing it to jump.*

6. Volume: A book or a series of written or printed sheets bound together.

- *She read a fascinating volume of short stories during her vacation.*

Commentary on Page 70 | (Scene 2)

Captain Omega, Lieutenant Iota, and Sergeant Oop discover a large, colorful book titled "Mother Goose." Omega notices that the book contains pictures of Earthlings. Iota observes a code within the book, finding little lines, squiggles, and dots alongside the pictures. Think-Tank, their leader, becomes sharply interested in the idea of a code and instructs them to describe it.

Oop explains that the code consists of thousands of little lines, squiggles, and dots next to the pictures. Think-Tank, intrigued, suggests that Earthlings might not be as primitive as they thought and decides they must break the code. Noodle, another character, brings up the idea that the space people were given vitamins to increase their intelligence. Think-Tank has a brilliant idea and instructs the crew to take the vitamins immediately and watch the "communication sandwich" (the book). He believes that the meaning of the code will slowly become clear.

Omega follows Think-Tank's orders, and the crew takes vitamins from boxes on their belts, presents them, swallows them simultaneously, and experiences a noticeable reaction.

Critical Commentary

In this excerpt from "The Book That Saved the Earth," the narrative takes a comedic turn as the Martian crew, led by Think-Tank, attempts to decipher the mysterious code within the book titled "Mother Goose." The characters' reactions and interactions contribute to the humor of the scene. The sudden interest in the code sparks Think-Tank's enthusiasm, suggesting a shift in the perceived simplicity of Earthlings. The introduction of the chemical department's vitamins adds an amusing layer, bringing a satirical element to the notion of enhancing intelligence. The scene cleverly blends science fiction and humor, using the decoding of a seemingly ordinary book as a vehicle for comedic exploration and commentary on intelligence enhancement. The absurdity of the situation is heightened by the exaggerated gestures and responses of the characters, adding a playful and entertaining element to the storyline.

Word Power:

1. **Code:** A system of symbols used to represent words or messages.

- *The secret agent decoded the message to uncover its hidden meaning.*

2. **Squiggles:** Twisted or curved lines that form irregular shapes.

- *The artist added squiggles to the drawing to give it a playful and dynamic look.*

3. **Primitive:** Basic or undeveloped; characteristic of an early stage of development.

- *In ancient times, people lived in primitive shelters made of natural materials.*

4. **Magnificent:** Extremely beautiful, elaborate, or impressive.

- *The king's palace was a magnificent structure with towering spires and grand halls.*

5. **Unfold:** To gradually reveal or become clear over time.

- *As the story progressed, the mystery began to unfold, revealing surprising details.*

6. **Simultaneously:** Happening at the same time.

- *The dancers moved their bodies simultaneously, creating a mesmerizing performance.*

Commentary on Page 71 | (Scene 2)

Think-Tank commands the crew to decipher the code in the book. The crew, with serious expressions, examines the book's pages.

Omega excitedly exclaims, "Aha!" and Iota adds, "Oho!" Oop, however, bursts into laughter. Think-Tank demands an immediate transcription from Omega. She reads with great seriousness:

*Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With cockle shells and silver bells

And pretty maids all in a row.*

Oop finds humor in the idea of pretty maids growing in a garden. Think-Tank, alarmed, insists on the seriousness of the discovery. He interprets the nursery rhyme as evidence that Earthlings have learned to combine agriculture and mining, growing rare metals like silver and even high explosives.

Noodle is instructed to contact the invasion fleet, but Think-Tank decides to hold off the invasion. Iota then transcribes another rhyme:

*Hey diddle diddle! The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon,

The little dog laughed to see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.*

Oop, still finding it amusing, laughs at the notion of the dish running away with the spoon.

Critical Commentary

In this comedic and imaginative excerpt from "The Book That Saved the Earth" by Claire Boiko, the author cleverly blends elements of science fiction and whimsical humor. Think-Tank, the Martian leader, directs the crew to decipher the Earthlings' code found in a book, and the crew's reactions provide comedic relief. The reveal of nursery rhymes as decoded messages leads to hilarious interpretations, highlighting the Martians' misinterpretation of Earthly concepts. Boiko uses this scenario to satirize the Martians' misunderstanding, emphasizing the absurdity of their conclusions. The juxtaposition of the serious tone in decoding with the lighthearted nursery rhymes creates a delightful and humorous atmosphere. This passage serves as a whimsical commentary on the potential misinterpretation of cultural symbols, showcasing Boiko's skill in blending humor with a science fiction narrative.

Word Power:

1. Levity: The treatment of a serious matter with humor or lack of due respect.

- *While the situation was serious, they couldn't help but inject some levity to ease the tension.*

2. Transcribe: To write out or type a copy of something.

- *The secretary was asked to transcribe the meeting minutes for everyone's reference.*

3. **Cockle Shells:** Rounded shells of marine mollusks.

- *Children often collect cockle shells at the beach, fascinated by their unique shapes.*

4. Gravely: In a serious or solemn manner.

- *The doctor spoke gravely as he delivered the news to the patient.*

5. Invasion: An instance of invading a country or region with an armed force.

- The invasion of enemy troops caught the nation by surprise.*

Commentary on Page 72 | (Scene 2)

Think-Tank becomes alarmed as the crew laughs at nursery rhymes, believing that Earthlings have reached a high level of civilization. He interprets the rhymes as evidence that domesticated animals on Earth, even dogs, have musical and space culture, and that an interplanetary attack of millions of cows may be imminent. He decides to notify the invasion fleet but then changes his mind, instructing Oop to transcribe the next code from the book.

Oop reads the nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty, and when he shows Think-Tank a picture of Humpty Dumpty, Think-Tank is shocked to see a resemblance to himself. He interprets the rhyme as a signal that the Earthlings plan to capture Mars Central Control. Think-Tank panics, screaming that an invasion of Mars is imminent. He orders Noodle to prepare a space capsule for him to escape and instructs the crew to leave Earth immediately, erasing all traces of their visit.

Noodle asks where they should go, and Think-Tank decides on Alpha Centauri, a hundred million miles away from Mars. The crew rushes to follow his orders, putting books back on shelves, while Think-Tank and Noodle exit. The curtain closes, and a spotlight shines on the Historian.

Word Power

1. Cease: To stop; bring to an end.

- The teacher asked the students to cease talking during the exam.*

2. Desist: To stop doing something; cease.

- The police issued a warning to desist from the illegal activity.*

3. Alarming:** Causing fear or anxiety; disturbing.

- The sudden loud noise was alarming and startled everyone in the room.*

4. Civilization: The stage of human social and cultural development marked by advanced technology, complex institutions, and urbanization.

- Ancient civilizations, like the Egyptians and Greeks, made significant contributions to art and science.

5. Notify : To inform or give notice to someone.

- Please notify me if there are any changes to the schedule.*

6. Transcribe: To make a written or typed copy of something.

- *The secretary was asked to transcribe the speech for distribution.*

7. Evacuate:** To remove people or things from a place of danger to a safer location.

- *Residents were asked to evacuate the coastal area ahead of the hurricane.*

8. Imminent: About to happen; impending.

- *The storm clouds gathered, and it felt like rain was imminent.*

9. Resemblance: Similarity in appearance or likeness.

- *There is a strong resemblance between the two siblings; they look very much alike.*

10. Panic: A sudden and overwhelming fear or anxiety, often causing irrational behavior.

- *The loud bang caused panic among the crowd as people rushed to find safety.*

Critical Commentary:

In this segment of "The Book That Saved the Earth," Claire Boiko continues to blend humor and science fiction, creating an engaging narrative that explores the consequences of misinterpretation. The tone shifts from amusement to a more frantic atmosphere as Think-Tank, the leader of the Martians, becomes increasingly alarmed by the nursery rhymes.

The author introduces a satirical element by suggesting that Earthlings have taught their domesticated animals musical culture and space techniques, even attributing a sense of humor to their dogs. This exaggeration adds to the comedic effect and highlights the Martians' over-the-top misinterpretations. The fear of an impending interplanetary attack involving millions of cows further emphasizes the absurdity of the situation.

The nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" takes a dark turn as Think-Tank identifies himself in the character. The sudden realization that the Earthlings may be planning an invasion of Mars adds a dramatic twist to the story. The use of the nursery rhyme as a coded message cleverly ties back to the theme of miscommunication and misinterpretation.

The urgency and panic in Think-Tank's response, including the decision to evacuate Mars, contribute to the escalating tension. The Martians' frantic efforts to remove traces of their visit and Think-Tank's insistence on heading for Alpha Centauri create a sense of urgency and chaos.

The narrative maintains its playful approach to science fiction, blending elements of humor and suspense. The abrupt shift in tone adds depth to the storyline, keeping readers or listeners engaged and curious about the Martians' fate.

In summary, this segment effectively heightens the stakes in a comical yet suspenseful manner. Claire Boiko masterfully combines satire, science fiction, and nursery rhymes to deliver a unique and entertaining story that keeps the audience intrigued.

Commentary on Page 73 | (Scene 2)

The Historian concludes the story, chuckling at how a dusty old book of nursery rhymes saved the world from a Martian invasion. She reveals that in the twenty-fifth century, five hundred years after the events, Earthlings reestablished contact with Mars, and a friendly relationship developed between the two planets. By this time, the original Martian leader, Great and Mighty Think-Tank, had been replaced by the wise and wonderful Noodle.

The Historian humorously mentions that Earthlings taught the Martians the difference between sandwiches and books, introduced them to reading, and even established a model library in the Martian capital city of Marsopolis. However, there's one book the Martians can never bring themselves to read—Mother Goose. The Historian bows, and the curtain falls.

This delightful ending showcases the transformation in the relationship between Earth and Mars, highlighting the power of understanding, cooperation, and, of course, the charm of nursery rhymes.

Word Power:

1. Resumed: Started again after a pause or interruption.

- *After a short break, the team resumed their work on the project.*

2. Established: Set up, founded, or introduced something in a stable way.

- They established a new company to focus on renewable energy solutions.*

3. Capital City: The main city or town that serves as the seat of government for a country or region.

- Washington, D.C., is the capital city of the United States.*

4. Model: A standard or example for imitation or comparison.

- *The newly opened school aimed to be a model of innovative teaching methods.*

5. Conclude: To bring something to an end; to finish.

- The speaker will conclude the presentation with a summary of key points.*

6. Humorously: In a funny or amusing way.

- The comedian humorously commented on everyday situations, making the audience laugh.*

7. Bows: To lower the head or upper part of the body as a gesture of respect or acknowledgment.

- *At the end of the performance, the actors took a bow to thank the audience.*

Critical Commentary

The concluding lines of "The Book That Saved the Earth" offer a humorous and reflective commentary on the story's fantastical premise. The Historian, chuckling with amusement, shares the resolution of the narrative, revealing how a dusty old book of nursery rhymes played a crucial role in preventing a Martian invasion. This touch of comedy adds a lighthearted and whimsical tone to the conclusion.

The mention of the twenty-fifth century provides a futuristic perspective, emphasizing the enduring impact of the events. Earth's resumption of contact with Mars and the establishment of friendly relations between the two planets highlights the theme of understanding and cooperation, transcending the initial misinterpretations.

The replacement of Great and Mighty Think-Tank with the wise and wonderful Noodle symbolizes a shift towards intelligence and open-mindedness. The narrative suggests that learning from past misunderstandings and embracing knowledge can lead to positive outcomes.

The mention of teaching Martians the difference between sandwiches and books, as well as imparting the skill of reading, adds a layer of satire. It playfully underscores the absurdity of the initial confusion while highlighting the potential for cross-cultural education and collaboration.

The establishment of a model library in Marsopolis further emphasizes the positive transformation in Martian society. The choice of the capital city name, Marsopolis, adds a touch of creativity and humor, reflecting the integration of Earthly influence into Martian culture.

The conclusion takes a delightful turn as the Historian reveals that, despite her newfound literacy, Martians still resist reading one particular book—Mother Goose. This final twist injects a last dose of humor, concluding the play on a light and entertaining note.

In essence, the concluding commentary offers a blend of satire, reflection, and humor, underlining the importance of communication, understanding, and the shared joy of storytelling across different worlds.


NCERT Solution

Read & Find Out | P 63.

Q1. Why was the twentieth century called the ‘Era of the Book’?

Ans: The title "Era of the Book" was given to the twentieth century because it was a time when books covered a vast array of topics, spanning from anteaters to Zulus. These books served as comprehensive guides, teaching people various aspects of life, including how to, when to, where to, and why to do things. They not only provided education but also offered illustrations, punctuation, and decorations. Interestingly, a book played a crucial role in saving the Earth during this period.

Q2. Who tried to invade the earth in the twenty-first century?

The Martians tried to invade the earth in the twenty-first century. The invasion plans are thwarted by the discovery of a book that the Martians misinterpret, leading to humorous and exaggerated conclusions about Earth culture.

Read & Find Out | P 65

What guesses are made by Think-Tank about the books found on earth?

Ans. In "The Book That Saved the Earth," Think-Tank, the Martian leader, makes several humorous and incorrect guesses about the books found on Earth. Some of the notable guesses include:

1. Sandwich Misunderstanding:

Think-Tank believes that the sandwiches depicted in the books are a crucial aspect of Earth's culture. However, he mistakenly thinks they are a form of communication, not realizing that they are a type of food.

2. Misinterpretation of Nursery Rhymes:

Think-Tank misinterprets nursery rhymes found in the books as coded information about Earth's military capabilities and plans. He believes that the rhymes contain secret messages related to Earth's defenses.

3. Books as Communication Devices:

When Noodle suggests that Earthlings use the books as communication devices, Think-Tank quickly agrees, claiming that it was his next point. However, the actual purpose of the books is entirely misunderstood.

Think-Tank's incorrect guesses and misinterpretations contribute to the comedic and satirical elements of the story, highlighting the challenges of cross-cultural communication and the potential for misunderstandings between different worlds.

Think About It (Page 74)

Q1. Noodle avoids offending Think-Tank but at the same time he corrects his mistakes. How does he manage to do that?

Ans: Noodle is really smart. He talks to Think-Tank, who is the leader, in a way that doesn't make him upset. When the Martians think the sandwiches in the book taste bad, Noodle cleverly says he has a tiny idea. He noticed Earthlings don't eat those sandwiches; they use them to talk. Think-Tank agrees, like it was his idea. When Noodle has more ideas, he says it's like clouds in his head. For example, he tells Think-Tank that Earthlings don't listen to sandwiches; they watch them. Think-Tank likes the idea. Noodle also helps the Martians understand letters by saying they need vitamins. Think-Tank thinks it's his own great idea!

2. If you were in Noodle’s place, how would you handle Think-Tank’s mistakes?

Ans: If I were in Noodle's place, I would handle Think-Tank's mistakes by being respectful and tactful. Instead of directly pointing out the errors, I would frame corrections as additional information or suggestions. For example, if Think-Tank misunderstood something, I might say, "O Great and Mighty Think-Tank, I've just recalled a tiny detail that might add more to your brilliant thoughts." This way, I would maintain a positive and deferential tone while subtly providing the correct information. The key would be to balance correction with admiration for Think-Tank's intelligence, ensuring a harmonious communication style.

3. Do you think books are being replaced by the electronic media? Can we do away with books altogether?

Ans: The role of books is evolving with the rise of electronic media, but it doesn't necessarily mean books will be entirely replaced. Electronic media, including e-books and online resources, offer convenience and accessibility, but books continue to hold cultural, educational, and sentimental value. Both forms can coexist, serving different purposes.

While electronic media provides instant access and multimedia features, books offer a tangible, traditional reading experience. The choice between them depends on individual preferences and contexts. It's unlikely that books will be entirely done away with, as they remain an integral part of learning and leisure for many people. Each medium has its strengths, and their coexistence enriches the overall reading landscape.

4. Why are books referred to as a man’s best companion? Which is your favourite book and why? Write a paragraph about that book.

Books are often referred to as a man's best companion because they have the power to transport readers to different worlds, provide knowledge, and offer solace. Unlike other companions, books don't judge, and they can be accessed at any time. They offer a unique and personal connection, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in narratives, gain insights, and find comfort in the written word.

My favourite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. This timeless classic explores themes of justice, empathy, and racial inequality in the American South. The compelling characters and thought-provoking storyline make it a powerful and impactful read, leaving a lasting impression on the importance of compassion and understanding in society.


Extra Short Questions

Q1. Why did Noodle become breathless while addressing Think-Tank?

In "The Book That Saved the Earth," Noodle becomes breathless while addressing Think-Tank because of the elaborate and lengthy salutation he is required to deliver. Noodle's communication style involves praising Think-Tank with a highly detailed and flattering introduction, addressing him as the "Great and Mighty Think-Tank, Ruler of Mars and her two moons, most powerful and intelligent creature in the whole universe." This elaborate salutation, filled with adjectives and titles, is delivered in a singsong manner, making it quite lengthy. As Noodle rushes through the extensive praise, he becomes breathless, emphasizing the exaggerated and humorous nature of the Martian communication style in the story.

Q2. What make Think-Tank call the book a sandwich?

In "The Book That Saved the Earth," Think-Tank refers to the book as a "sandwich" due to a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Earth's culture. When the Martian crew, led by Captain Omega, arrives on Earth and encounters books for the first time, they are puzzled by the illustrations of sandwiches within the books. Think-Tank, in his attempt to comprehend the purpose of these illustrations, mistakenly concludes that the sandwiches must be a significant aspect of Earth's communication or possibly a form of technology.

Q3. What was the Martians' first impression of Mother Goose?

The Martians' first impression of Mother Goose is one of confusion and misunderstanding. When the Martian crew, led by Captain Omega, encounters books for the first time on Earth, they come across a volume of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. The Martians, unfamiliar with Earth's culture, misinterpret the nursery rhymes as coded information about Earth's military capabilities and plans.

Instead of recognizing the nursery rhymes as innocent and whimsical verses meant for children, the Martians, particularly Think-Tank, view them as serious and strategic documents.

Q4. What is Think-Tank's opinion about Earth and the Earthlings?

Think-Tank, the Martian leader in "The Book That Saved the Earth," initially holds a dismissive and condescending opinion about Earth and the Earthlings. He views Earth as an insignificant and primitive planet, referring to it as a "crude refreshment stand." Think-Tank believes that Earthlings have tiny heads and considers them less attractive than Martians. This attitude stems from the Martians' lack of understanding of Earth's culture and their misinterpretation of everyday objects, such as books and illustrations of sandwiches.

Q5. How far away from Mars is Alpha Centauri? Why does Think-Tank order the invasion fleet to evacuate the entire planet of Mars and head towards Alpha Centauri?

The distance from Mars to Alpha Centauri is approximately 4.37 light-years. Think-Tank orders the invasion fleet to evacuate the entire planet of Mars and head towards Alpha Centauri as a response to a perceived threat. The misunderstanding arises from Think-Tank's misinterpretation of nursery rhymes in the books found on Earth.

Think-Tank mistakenly believes that Earthlings have discovered how to combine agriculture and mining, growing crops of rare metals like silver and explosives like cockle shells. He interprets these nursery rhymes as coded messages indicating a sophisticated level of Earth's civilization. Fearing an imminent invasion from Earth, Think-Tank orders the evacuation to Alpha Centauri to escape what he believes is a dangerous and advanced civilization on Earth. The humor in the story arises from the Martians' misinterpretation of innocent nursery rhymes as strategic information.

Q6. How different is Noodle, the new ruler of Mars, from Think-Tank?

While Think-Tank is labeled as 'Great and Mighty,' Noodle is characterized as 'wise and wonderful.' Noodle emerges as a more knowledgeable and adept ruler than Think-Tank. Unlike Think-Tank, Noodle is not inclined towards war. Under his rule, Earthlings and Martians reestablish friendly contact.


CBQs | Long-Answer Questions

Q1. Misunderstandings stemming from cultural differences can lead to confusion and conflict. From your comprehension of the play, what measures can be taken to prevent such conflicts and uphold peace and harmony?

Cultural Misunderstandings in the Play

The play delves into the exploration of how misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences among diverse races or groups can trigger confusion and conflict. Throughout the narrative, language operates as a code, deciphered within the confines of one group's vocabulary.

Think-Tank's Perspective:

Think-Tank serves as a prime example, projecting power and superiority by relying on violence and invasion to assert dominance. His misinterpretation of Earth's capabilities sparks panic among the Martian characters.

Resolution and Insights:

However, the play concludes on a hopeful note, suggesting that peace is achievable through patience, an open mind, and a commitment to learning. This is exemplified by the establishment of libraries on Mars, signifying the importance of unbiased cultural education in fostering harmony.

Personal Reflection:

In my opinion, the play effectively communicates the significance of cultural understanding and underscores the transformative power of education in bridging gaps and achieving enduring peace.

Q2. In the records of Martian history, who would be regarded as a distinguished ruler: Think-Tank or Noodle? Provide reasons for your choice.

Ans: The following are the Contrasting Legacies: Think-Tank and Noodle in Martian History and who, in my opinion, would be regarded as a distinguished ruler.

Think-Tank's Dominance:

In the records of Martian history, Think-Tank, labeled 'great and mighty,' symbolizes dominance through power and submission. His pursuit of interplanetary dominance and authority sets the tone for a confrontational leadership style. However, his cowardly retreat to Alpha Centauri in the face of potential conflict with Earth reveals a significant flaw in his character.

Noodle's Wisdom and Collaboration:

On the other hand, Noodle emerges as a remarkable ruler, characterized as 'wise and wonderful.' His leadership approach is marked by wisdom and collaboration rather than coercion. Unlike Think-Tank, Noodle's rule initiates friendly relations with Earth, resulting in mutual benefits for both planets.

Legacy of Knowledge and Growth:

Under Noodle's guidance, Martians evolve, acquiring knowledge that differentiates between sandwiches and books. They learn to read and establish a library in Marsopolis. This contrast underscores Noodle's enduring legacy as a wise and forward-thinking leader, shaping a positive trajectory for Martian history.

Cowardice vs. Wisdom:

Think-Tank's cowardice, fleeing from potential conflict, juxtaposed with Noodle's wisdom in navigating relations with Earth, solidifies Noodle's position as the new ruler of Mars and its moons. This transition marks a pivotal moment in Martian history, emphasizing the importance of sagacity and collaboration over authoritarian rule.

Q3. What opinion of Earthlings did Think-Tank form after reading Mother Goose?

Think-Tank's Martian Arrogance:

Think-Tank's initial perspective on Earth reveals Martian arrogance, considering it a "primitive ball of mud." This disdain sets the stage for a comedic exploration of cultural misinterpretation.

Think-Tank's haughty view of Earth and his initial dismissal of its inhabitants as inferior beings lay the foundation for the unfolding narrative.

Mother Goose and Drastic Perceptions:

Mother Goose's encounter shatters Think-Tank's preconceived notions. Literal interpretation of nursery rhymes leads him to believe in Earth's advanced capabilities, sparking fears of an impending interplanetary attack involving unexpected elements. The narrative delves into how Mother Goose's influence challenges Think-Tank's beliefs, causing a drastic shift in his perception of Earth and its inhabitants.

The Hilarious Escape to Alpha Centauri:

Think-Tank's misinterpretation of Earth's culture reaches a humorous climax as he, in a panic, flees to Alpha Centauri to escape the perceived threat. This comedic twist underscores the narrative's exploration of the dangers of miscommunication in interplanetary relations.

The escape to Alpha Centauri becomes a comical resolution to Think-Tank's exaggerated fears, highlighting the narrative's blend of humor and the consequences of misinterpretation.

Q4. What can you infer about the Martians' understanding of Earth culture based on their reactions to nursery rhymes?

Misinterpretation of Earth Culture in Nursery Rhymes

The Martian leader, Think-Tank, interprets nursery rhymes literally, leading to a comical misunderstanding of Earth culture. The Martians lack familiarity with the subtleties of Earth's cultural expressions.

Literal Interpretation and Exaggeration

Think-Tank's literal interpretation of nursery rhymes results in exaggerated beliefs about Earth's achievements. He thinks Earth has combined agriculture and mining and grown rare substances, showcasing a lack of cultural awareness.

Humorous Consequences and Cultural Pitfalls

The Martians' misinterpretation leads to humorous consequences, such as the fear of an interplanetary attack with millions of cows. This highlights the potential pitfalls of cultural misinterpretation and the comedic exaggeration that can arise when cultures misunderstand each other.

Cultural Naivety and Lack of Context

The Martians' reactions reveal cultural naivety and a lack of context in understanding Earth's activities. They attribute complex capabilities to Earth without grasping the true cultural context, showcasing the challenges of interplanetary cultural understanding.

Q5. How might the story have been different if it were told from the perspective of an Earthling who witnessed the Martians' reactions?

Ans: The following are the Earthling's Perspective on Martian Reactions.

Misunderstanding and Amusement

From an Earthling's perspective, witnessing Martians misinterpreting nursery rhymes would evoke a mix of amusement and bewilderment. The Earthling would observe the Martians attributing advanced capabilities to simple cultural expressions, finding humor in their lack of understanding.

Cultural Divide and Educational Opportunity

The Earthling might recognize the cultural divide and see an opportunity for cultural exchange and education. Instead of fear, the Earthling could respond with efforts to bridge the gap, providing insights into the true meanings behind nursery rhymes and Earth's cultural nuances.

Communication Challenges and Diplomacy

The story would likely highlight the challenges of interplanetary communication and the importance of diplomatic efforts to avoid misunderstandings. The Earthling might engage in communication strategies to clarify intentions and dispel Martians' misconceptions.

Building Bridges and Friendship

Ultimately, the Earthling's perspective could contribute to building bridges between Earth and Mars, fostering friendship rather than fear. The narrative might emphasize the potential for mutual learning and collaboration between the two planets.

CBQs For Practice

Q6. What motivates Think-Tank to evacuate Mars rather than attempting to understand Earth culture better?

Q7. How does the author use nursery rhymes as a literary device to convey the theme of miscommunication?

Q8. If Think-Tank were to encounter another Earth object, how might his character's understanding evolve based on his previous experiences?




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