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From School Library Journal

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 voilà, 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


Praise for Life on Mars

“We are made hopeful by fresh questions and mysteries about our ultimately unknowable and inexhaustibly interesting universe . . . [The book] invites us to be fearless with our faults and bold in our explorations, and to remember that wonder is never withdrawn.” —New York Times Book Review

"Delightful deadpan humor." —San Francisco Chronicle

“Jon Agee excels at creating picture books with unusual settings and characters . . . For young readers, this book serves as a great introduction to the kinds of books where the reader knows more information than the main character does.” —The Huffington Post

* "Bursting with quiet wit and gorgeous Martian vistas. Simply masterful." —Kirkus, starred review

* "The humor continues through the very last page. Agee, with his unique and winning view of the world, never talks down to children and always asks readers to slow down and enjoy his take on what they might not otherwise see." —Horn Book, starred view

* "Sure to be a hit with beginning readers and storytime audiences alike." —School Library Journal, starred review

"Satisfying silliness from start to finish, with a gotcha ending that will prompt requests for repeat readings."—Publishers Weekly

"Target[s] the preschool humor level with canny accuracy. Streamlined compositions shaggily outlined in deep charcoal make this ideal for group sharing—and no doubt plenty of shouted interaction." —BCCB

"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. Little ones who lost it over Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back will likely appreciate Agee's guileless astronaut." —Booklist

“The words tell one story and the pictures another in this charming tale from master picture book creator Jon Agee...Out of this world.” —BookPage

See all Editorial Reviews
In this sneaky, silly picture book for fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen, an intrepid—but not so clever—space explorer is certain he’s found the only living thing on Mars   A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes—only to discover that someone has eaten them all!   Readers will love being in on the secret: Unbeknownst to the explorer, a Martian has been wandering through the illustrations the whole time—and he got himself a delicious snack along the way.
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