Reviews for Life on Mars

by Jon Agee

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A little astronaut brings chocolate cupcakes to Mars but realizes, "I don't think I'll find anybody to eat them." The story depends on a repeated visual joke--the astronaut keeps missing the Martian in the background--and the humor continues throughout. Agee's world is one in which the emotional life of the characters is clear with the slightest raise of an eyebrow. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

An astronaut has traveled to Mars in a rocket ship to find Martian life, but when he arrives, all he sees is dirt and rocks and no one with whom to share his chocolate cupcakes. What a bust! Or is it? In Agee's illustrations, rendered in thick lines and sandy tones, little ones will see that there is life on Mars, in the form of a towering creature with pointy ears and a pinkish, pear-shaped body, who's probably just a little shy. The spare, deadpan text narrates the oblivious astronaut's journey over the planet, cake box in hand, as he wanders over desolate mesas, finds a pretty flower (there's some life on Mars after all!), gets lost, and finds his way back to his ship thanks to an all-too-familiar pink, pear-shaped hill. There's plenty of humor in the contrast between Agee's text and pictures, and that skittish Martian is a hoot all on its own. Kids who lose it over Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back (2011) will likely appreciate Agee's guileless astronaut.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2017 Booklist


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Is there life on Mars?"Everybody thinks I'm crazy. Nobody believes there is life on Mars. But I do." Equipped with a box of chocolate cupcakes, a young astronaut traverses the dark, cold Martian landscape in pursuit of something, anything that will prove life exists on Mars. Unbeknownst to the young, light-skinned astronaut, a large, pointy-eared Martian follows not too far behind. Alas, the planet isn't really cooperating: hills and craters punctuate its surface, but there's not much else. After miles and miles of seemingly nothing, the unlucky space explorer drops the chocolatey gift on the ground. "What a disaster. Everybody was right: There is no life on Mars!" Just don't tell that to the Martian, who picks up the dropped package. Though Agee's minimalist story relies on a single running gag to deliver much of the fun, it stays hilarious throughout thanks in large part to the sincere, impassioned first-person narration. The author/illustrator excels in illustrating a Martian scenery perfect for the young astronaut's mission. Black features prominently in most pictures, stressing the cold of space against the soft browns and harsh grays of Mars' mostly barren land. Bold lines give everything a clean, solid shape. A bit lost on the way back to the spaceship, the cosmic explorer stumbles across definitive proof of life: a flower. Mission success! Bursting with quiet wit and gorgeous Martian vistas. Simply masterful. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A little astronaut brings chocolate cupcakes to Mars but realizes, "I don't think I'll find anybody to eat them." The story depends on a repeated visual joke--the astronaut keeps missing the Martian in the background--and the humor continues throughout. Agee's world is one in which the emotional life of the characters is clear with the slightest raise of an eyebrow. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-A young astronaut lands on the red planet and, despite detractors, is determined to find a sign of life there. In his hand is a package, tied with a red ribbon, that holds a chocolate cupcake, a gift to any extraterrestrial he might run into. But as the boy walks about the dark, cold, and rocky landscape, he begins to wonder if anything could possibly live there. Expansive spreads in shades of gray and brown with tinges of pink feature the diminutive traveler and allow readers to see what the boy can't: the large, friendly-looking, but somewhat perplexed creature following him, who picks up the package he has left behind. Frustrated in his search, the child heads back to the spaceship, until voilą, he discovers the sign he is looking for: a bright yellow flower. Agee, a master of the humorous picture book (It's Only Stanley, Nothing, and Terrific), offers lots of visual jokes here, including an especially delightful note that ends the tale. In addition, the simple vocabulary and large print (white against black) make this a good choice for emergent readers. VERDICT Sure to be a hit with beginning readers and storytime audiences alike.-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Back