Bound To Stay Bound

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 Life on Mars
 Author: Agee, Jon

 Publisher:  Dial Books for Young Readers (2017)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [31] p., col. ill., 30 cm

 BTSB No: 045867 ISBN: 9780399538520
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Astronauts -- Fiction
 Life on other planets -- Fiction
 Mars (Planet) -- Fiction

Price: $22.08

A young astronaut is trying to find life on Mars, but he's made a very big oversight.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 1.40
   Points: .5   Quiz: 187757
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: K-2
   Reading Level: 1.50
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 70718

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/16)
   School Library Journal (+) (12/01/16)
   Booklist (01/01/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/01/17)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 PreS-Gr 2—A young astronaut lands on the red planet and, despite detractors, is determined to find a sign of life there. In his hand is a package, tied with a red ribbon, that holds a chocolate cupcake, a gift to any extraterrestrial he might run into. But as the boy walks about the dark, cold, and rocky landscape, he begins to wonder if anything could possibly live there. Expansive spreads in shades of gray and brown with tinges of pink feature the diminutive traveler and allow readers to see what the boy can't: the large, friendly-looking, but somewhat perplexed creature following him, who picks up the package he has left behind. Frustrated in his search, the child heads back to the spaceship, until voilà, he discovers the sign he is looking for: a bright yellow flower. Agee, a master of the humorous picture book (It's Only Stanley, Nothing, and Terrific), offers lots of visual jokes here, including an especially delightful note that ends the tale. In addition, the simple vocabulary and large print (white against black) make this a good choice for emergent readers. VERDICT Sure to be a hit with beginning readers and storytime audiences alike.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Determined to prove that life exists on Mars, a little astronaut makes a solo flight, bearing a box of chocolate cupcakes to demonstrate that he comes in peace. As he strides across the severe, empty landscape, though, he becomes increasingly doubtful of his mission. “There is no life on Mars! I’m going home immediately,” he wails, abandoning his treats in resignation. Eyes locked on the route ahead, he fails to see what the audience sees-an enormous, very puzzled rust red Martian who lumbers behind in his tracks. The astronaut may have overlooked the main event, but he does find a single yellow flower perched on a rock formation, right near his mysteriously moved bakery box. Climbing one last hill (the now-prone alien’s bulbous hip), he relocates his spaceship and blasts off for home to show off his floral proof-of-life. More perplexing evidence awaits, however, when he opens the cupcake box for a reward and finds it full of crumbs. This is a one-gag outing but an extraordinarily effective one, targeting the preschool humor level with canny accuracy. Streamlined compositions shaggily outlined in deep charcoal make this ideal for group sharing-and no doubt plenty of shouted interaction. Kids who love this joke will also chortle over Bartram’s Man on the Moon (BCCB 12/02); consider that as a second destination for a silly space-themed story time. EB - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

Booklist - 01/01/2017 An astronaut has traveled to Mars in a rocket ship to find Martian life, but when he arrives, all he sees is dirt and rocks and no one with whom to share his chocolate cupcakes. What a bust! Or is it? In Agee’s illustrations, rendered in thick lines and sandy tones, little ones will see that there is life on Mars, in the form of a towering creature with pointy ears and a pinkish, pear-shaped body, who’s probably just a little shy. The spare, deadpan text narrates the oblivious astronaut’s journey over the planet, cake box in hand, as he wanders over desolate mesas, finds a pretty flower (there’s some life on Mars after all!), gets lost, and finds his way back to his ship thanks to an all-too-familiar pink, pear-shaped hill. There’s plenty of humor in the contrast between Agee’s text and pictures, and that skittish Martian is a hoot all on its own. Kids who lose it over Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back (2011) will likely appreciate Agee’s guileless astronaut. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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