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LIFE ON MARS by Jon Agee Kirkus Star


by Jon Agee ; illustrated by Jon Agee

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-399-53852-0
Publisher: Dial Books

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)