Published February 28th 2017 by Dial Books
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
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.
Agee details a young astronaut who ventures to Mars with a gift of cupcakes in hand, determined to find life. But as he wanders around, he comes to the conclusion that there may not be anyone on the planet after all. But little does he know, there's a friendly eye watching him...
What's delightful about Agee's book, is that it's a big adventure without any setup or explanation. Instead, the young astronaut is just on Mars as the book opens, which really helps reinforce the idea that anything is possible for a young reader. The book is also structured with simple, easy-to-read sentences without gimmicks, and as another reader stated on Goodreads, readers who choose to read the book out loud, will appreciate that they can see what the astronaut cannot.
With illustrations that are simple but with a color palette that pops, this is a book that cannot be missed. Highly recommend, full stop.
About the author:
Jon Agee is the author/illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner It’s Only Stanley and the ALA Notable Books Little Santa, Terrific, Milo’s Hat Trick, and The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau, and a series of popular wordplay books including the IRA-CBC Children’s Choice book of palindromes, Go Hang a Salami! I’m a Lasagna Hog! Jon grew up along the Hudson River in Nyack, New York, and went to college at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where he studied painting and filmmaking. Now a full-time author, he lives in San Francisco with his wife, Audrey, and their Havanese puppy, Charlotte.