R.E.M.

Istvan Banyai, Author, Istvan Banya, Author Viking Children's Books $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-87492-7
Cycles of metamorphoses propelled Banyai's Zoom and Re-Zoom, and this provocative, wordless volume similarly features leaps of visual logic. As the title suggests, Banyai may mean to duplicate rapid eye movement through images shown unfolding step-by-step--however, the effect is more like free association than languorous dream-narrative. The sequence opens with a dot that drips into a glass of water and, in stages, transforms into a round-headed blue doll. The doll topples the glass and moves into a second spread, where it steals part of a reflection from a puddle. As the pages turn, the doll's body elongates in funhouse fashion, and new characters appear, among them a spinning snowman that turns into a princess, and a frog that enlarges into a crouching prince. Once all the characters have assembled, the view widens onto a bedroom where a boy slouches, his hand atop a book open to the scene of the frog becoming the prince. When the boy groggily gets up, his dream entities rearrange themselves, and when he walks to the bathroom sink to brush his teeth, the whole dream spirals down the drain. A mirror reflects a now-empty bedroom, but a certain blue doll is propped next to the hot-water tap. Viewing Banyai's precisely drawn graphics is like watching a cartoon--set against blank, landscape-less backgrounds, his successive freeze-frame objects resemble animation cels. The illustrator questions perception on every page, prompting readers either to make up stories for each scene or simply to draw inspiration from his cinematic way of thinking. All ages. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
Genre: Children's
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