cover image Hang Glider & Mud Mask

Hang Glider & Mud Mask

Jason Jägel and Brian McMullen. McSweeney’s McMullens, $14.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-936365-83-8

Is it two stories in one? Or one story that doesn’t end? McMullen (editor of the McMullens imprint) and artist Jägel, in their first work for children, have created a wholly original Möbius strip of a book with two front covers (each opens at left) whose stories meet in the middle, finding their resolutions with the opposing cover. In the Mud Mask story line, a girl in scuffed-up pants and a bandanna (who is also in the middle of a facial) climbs up via stairs, ladder, and more to catch “the flying legs” that can be seen peeking out from a triangular yellow hang glider on the opposite cover; the second story follows a boy’s downward flight into the arms of the girl. With imagery and palette as unusual as the format, it’s an odd—and oddly successful—journey. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)