Life on Mars, by Jon Agee (2017)

Picture Book
3-8
Life on Mars by Jon AgeeI really enjoy Jon Agee’s humour, first discovered while browsing picture books at Vancouver’s beloved Kidsbooks store. The book was called Terrific and I immediately bought a copy for a grandchild and ordered a copy for my library’s storytime collection. It was a stalwart title for elementary school visits to the library, fun to read aloud and giving us a chance to convey great emotional range in a readaloud. This one has less range but is a surefire winner for storytime sessions and lapsharing. An astronaut visits Mars in search of life, and finds a desolate planet devoid of any living thing. Or so he thinks. Children won’t be able to resist pointing out the giant alien our astronaut doesn’t see. The text is short so be sure to linger on the pages to give young readers time to explore the two-page full-bleed illustrations that bring the Martian landscape to life. I love the black sky and long shadows. And a note for teachers – there is plenty of fodder for classroom discussion on the mistakes our astronaut makes in his scientific quest. For the rest of us, a delight to read over and over.
More discussion and reviews of this picture book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30422487
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