What Goes Around Comes Around

Richard McGuire, Author Viking Children's Books $13.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-86396-9
As in McGuire's Night Becomes Day and The Orange Book, stylish retro graphics are the main event in this picture book, its whirlwind plot notwithstanding. Early on, a not-so-innocent-looking boy stands next to an open window in New York City (``When he was asked if he had seen his sister's doll, he said `no'""). Meanwhile, a stick-figure-style doll-its mouth set in a nervous line and its three blue hairs standing on end-ricochets off the street, nearly causes a traffic accident and lands on a box heading out to sea. The doll's itinerary, charted on a map on the endpapers, includes Casablanca, Shanghai and San Francisco, with stops on a ship and a plane along the way; the doll bumps into a leaping camel in Cairo and a green-and-red snake in Bombay. In the end the toy bounces back through the New York window, popping the culprit upside the head (``And POW! What goes around comes around''). McGuire's compositions pair static silhouettes with line drawings and gestural sketches that suggest perpetual motion; all the images are geometric and stencil-perfect, softened by grainy colored-pencil details and an abundance of white negative space. His spreads give a wide angle on the action, and his wide-eyed, startled animals-among them an elephant and a honking red bird-add to the sense of urgency. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
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