You guys. Life on Mars, by Jon Agee. This book kills me, every single time. I don't know what it is that makes me love it so much, but it's just ridiculously fun. And funny. And Pickle thinks it's hilarious that he "gets" the joke while the astronaut protagonist totally does not. His giggles and comments never fail to make me laugh, and there is just something so cool about watching him make connections in his little head and then attempt to put them to words...
In Life on Mars, a young astronaut travels by rocket ship -- with a box of chocolate cupcakes in tow -- to discover whether life exists on the red planet. He lands and wanders around, disappointed that he finds nothing there. Until... alas! He finds a single flower! The boy packs it up and returns to his rocket, believing this was the only living thing on the planet. But only as he cracks open that box of cupcakes on his way home does he discover what the reader was in on the whole time... maybe there really was a Martian!
For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know my favorite kinds of picture books are the ones where the text and the illustrations tell different stories-- and sometimes totally contradict each other. There is something so wondrous about watching kids read and interpret these books, and when they truly understand the interplay between the two different narratives, it's like witnessing a little piece of magic. If you like Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (see our review HERE!) and How to be a Hero (see our review HERE!,) this is a must for your collection. There is no debating that Life on Mars has become one of those books that I will forever remember with a laugh... and maybe some cupcakes too. And for the record, be sure to check out some of John's other books too-- we love It's Only Stanley and Lion Lessons!
Want the book? Get it here! Life on Mars, by Jon Agee. *This is an affiliate link.