cover image John Jeremy Colton

John Jeremy Colton

Bryan Jeffery Leech, Author, Byron Glaser, Author, Sandra Higashi, Author Hyperion Books $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-56282-650-5

This super-slick debut is more likely to satisfy students of MTV-era graphic design than children hoping for a good read-aloud. A mixed-media smorgasbord of fresh colors and crisp edges creates a kind of visual free-for-all on each spread, while lines of text become part of the design: readers must turn the book upside down, sideways and in circles. No less than 22 typefaces (in multiple point sizes) are used, including one called Higashi Glaser Party Mix. This riotous presentation engulfs a tale about John Jeremy Colton, an eccentric stranger who moves to a village and decorates his home in flamboyant hues, much to the displeasure of the staid Mrs. Hythe-Potter. Leech's jaunty rhymes and meters have an irresistible bounciness, but the pleasures of the text might be lost on children as they crane their necks or watch a presiding adult twist and turn the volume simply in order to read it. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)