Life on Mars
Life on Mars

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Annotation: In this humorous picture book, an intrepid young space explorer is certain he's found the only living thing on Mars--but he's made a very big oversight.
Catalog Number: #136498
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-53852-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96545-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-53852-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96545-4
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015049804
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
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.
Horn Book
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.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
Publishers Weekly
Dramatic irony rules this expedition to Mars, in which a young human roams the rocky environment, unaware that he is not alone. The sky is black, the landscape the color of dust. The frowning boy astronaut, who carries an incongruous white box tied with red string, delivers a dejected monologue: -It-s dark. It-s cold. I-ve brought this gift of chocolate cupcakes. I don-t think I-ll find anybody to eat them.- He fails to notice the pear-shaped, cantaloupe-orange creature-20 times his size-who is following and observing him. Agee-s (Lion Lessons) quirky humor manifests in absurd elements such as the cupcake box, which the boy temporarily misplaces, and the anxious Martian, who pretends to be a hill when the astronaut loses sight of his rocket: -I bet I-ll get a good view from the top of that mountain!- says the boy, unwittingly climbing the creature. The boy-s discovery of a yellow flower confirms his speculation about -life on Mars,- though he never notices the elephant in the room. It-s satisfying silliness from start to finish, with a gotcha ending that will prompt requests for repeat readings. Ages 4-8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Feb.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2&12; 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 voil&4;, 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.&12; Daryl Grabarek , School Library Journal
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
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)
Word Count: 227
Reading Level: 1.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 187757 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q70718
Lexile: AD470L

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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