Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Life on Mars

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Little kid astronaut explores Mars in sweet, funny story.

Life on Mars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

There's heart and humor in this tale of a little kid astronaut who travels to Mars with the gift of a box of chocolate cupcakes and the big tubby martian he somehow never actually meets. Author-illustrator Jon Agee has a way with fun books for young kids, and though Life on Mars convincingly depicts a desolate Mars scape, it also manages to be sweet and funny. The boy astronaut tells the story, and his first-person voice is kid-like and appealing. Would it have been more adventurous if Agee had cast the little astronaut as someone other than a Caucasian boy? Yes, but the boy's face is sweetly expressive, making it easy for us to like him. The same goes for the big, huggable martian, who looks more shy than threatening and seems to also hope for a friend.

Kids love to feel in on the joke and will find it hysterically funny that they can see the martian looming in the background closely following the main character, while the boy himself remains clueless. The text is conversational and inviting, and there's much to search for in the art. This one should be a bedtime/story-time crowd pleaser.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate