cover image The Turnaround Wind

The Turnaround Wind

Arnold Lobel. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023987-9

Thirty characters venture out on a hot summer day when suddenly ``dark and ominous clouds'' appear in the sky. A turnabout wind seems ``to turn the whole world around and around and upside down,'' and the story turns into a series of clever optical illusionsdouble pictures that can be viewed right side up or upside down. The shifty-eyed face of a thief, turned upside down, becomes a wailing baby dressed in blue. An organ grinder is transformed into a parrot. The illustrations are complicated enough for repeated readings, and the wind-blown characters are eccentrically droll. One lady's cape, green and billowy as a cabbage leaf, is changed into another lady's wind-blown umbrella. The plump king turns into the queen who is definitely ``not amused at the weather.'' Then, just as suddenly as it began, the wind stops. Undaunted by chaos, the cheerful characters dust themselves off and walk ``serenely in the sunshine of a lovely afternoon.'' Ages 4-8. (July)