Life on Mars


The explorer is certain he’ll discover Life on Mars. Yet it isn’t long before he’s feeling gloomy.  He wonders how anything could possibly live on such a planet. It seems he’s brought a gift of chocolate cup cakes, yet he has little hope of presenting it to anyone.

Yet as we watch the investigation, we’re aware of more footprints and shadows than his. It seems that although he sees only ‘miles and miles of rocks and dirt’ we’ve found…. Life on Mars.

Will he look behind him? Maybe over the rocks and hillocks, through the craters and bumps? Is it possible he might look about him properly, even beyond a missing spaceship?

Jon Agee’s wonderful Life On Mars is very funny and beautifully observed. We love the sense of travel, the routes and inner monologue. Even more, as with his other picture books like The Wall in the Middle of the Book and It’s Only Stanley, there is a deeper meaning to infer. The illustrations are animated perfection; we fall into line with the movement and discovery. Bookwagon loves and recommends Life on Mars.

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Life on Mars

Jon Agee

(Scallywag Press)

If you’ve travelled a long way from Earth it might be that you’re seeking Life on Mars. It will mean that you have to be determined ‘to find’ life. It seems that you’d need to seek carefully. Yet, what if Mars looks ‘gloomy’. Thereafter, what if you begin to doubt your earlier certainty?
Renowned picture book maker Jon Agee of Lion Lessons creates a space journey story with a difference. We watch the space exploration from arrival to disheartened search, realising all that this mission is missing! There is such opportunity in the pictures, such mischief! Thereafter, the ever-growing disillusionment of our explorer is funny yet there’s a poignancy in all that we can see and all that he misses.
So what Life on Mars might be found? What might lie within the craters and hollows, hillocks and valleys of this comic-style, laugh-out-loud and point and see, heart-rending picture book. Could it be there is life? Furthermore, is ‘a treat’ possible? Thereafter, what treat is being missed? It seems as though life might be looking and waiting to be discovered…


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