Throughout July, GeekMom is preparing for the planned launch of the Perseverance rover on July 20th with Mars Month, a month filled with Mars-themed content. Be sure to follow the Mars Month tag to find all of this month’s content so far in one place. Today I am reviewing Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars by Jason Cooper, Illustrated by Vicki Scott.
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Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars opens with a short one-shot story about Woodstock titled “Mission Out of Control.” Here, Woodstock and his fellow, yellow friends are having a bad day at the office, which is especially problematic when their office is mission control.
The majority of the book, however, is the main Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars story. Snoopy has awoken in a desolate red landscape. Convinced he has arrived on Mars, he begins to explore, coming face to face with alien plant life, discovering water, and locating an alien city. Meanwhile, his brother Spike is attempting to keep his Needles souvenir store open and Charlie Brown has realized Snoopy is missing.
Soon enough, it’s made clear that Snoopy is hallucinating and it’s down to Spike and all Snoopy’s friends to help Snoopy recover from his head injury and reunite him with his best pal Charlie Brown.
This was my first time ever reading anything Peanuts related beyond the odd viral comic strip (yes, I know), and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t for me. I found that I really didn’t engage with the writing style or the humor here. That being said, from my limited knowledge of that universe, Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars feels like a perfect fit. I know there has been some controversy over the world of Peanuts continuing after the death of Charles Schulz, but Jason Cooper has done a remarkable job of capturing the dry tone of the originals and if I hadn’t seen in advance that it wasn’t a Schulz story, I never would have known. Fans will almost certainly be able to spot the differences, but for more casual readers, this will be a great continuation.
The artwork had a classic feel, filled with simple lines and bright, beautiful colors that really brought the story to life. I especially loved the Mars rover constructed by Woodstock and his feathered friends, complete with racing flames down the sides (is it too late to give Perseverance a different paint job?), which gave me my biggest laugh of the entire book. The art in the initial short story has a very different, more simplistic style that I didn’t like as much but, again, that’s simply my personal preference at play.
This is a sweet, all-ages story ideal to read with your kids this month, and while Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars wasn’t quite for me, I have no doubts that fans of Peanuts and Snoopy will love it.
GeekMom received a copy of this book for review purposes.