The Other Side

Istvan Banyai, Author, Istvan Banyai, Illustrator . Chronicle $15.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8118-4608-0

Like a Möbius strip, each page in this revelatory, nearly wordless book offers intimate perspectives on the same scene. In one of the simplest vignettes, the word "loop" flips into "pool," and in another, a circular spotlight shape highlights a tiny red triangle in the center of a page, while "the other side" pictures a yellow chick pecking through the paper. The initial pages encourage readers to seek a narrative, as in REM , Banyai's riff on dreaming, or Zoom , whose "plot" involved infinitely expanding views on the world. At first, six diagrams demonstrate how to fold a paper airplane, an indoor view follows the plane out of an apartment window and an outdoor view shows a boy at an adjacent window, releasing a flurry of origami planes. The very next page pictures a jet flying over a city, and "the other side" pictures its seated, bored passengers. Yet as the book proceeds, the images' connections grow more tenuous until unity is provided by only a few recurrent objects (a penguin, a spotted dog) and Banyai's hip style: graphite sketches enhanced with crisp digital colors such as stop-sign red, pale pink and hazard yellow. This volume's puzzles are not as densely intertwined as those in Banyai's previous work, but the author contrives yet another transformative page-turner. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Genre: Children's
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