cover image The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

Arthur Yorinks, illus. by Doug Cushman, Harper, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-156148-1

Unlike the H.G. Wells original, Yorinks's (Homework) whimsical riff on the harassed Wells character is largely played for laughs. Kindly Sy Kravitz, a fruit seller, wakes up one morning to find himself inexplicably invisible. "He was shunned. Ignored. Alone and invisible, his gentle spirit finally snapped." He begins a life of petty crime, and when his secret is discovered, he is blamed worldwide for things he didn't do and is eventually captured, jailed, and "ultimately forgotten." Yorinks's droll text and Cushman's (Tyrannosaurus Math) emotive watercolor cartoons enhance the story's absurd comedy. Cushman solves the problem of how to illustrate an invisible protagonist by portraying Sy with his face wrapped like a mummy or dressed as a disembodied robe or prisoner in stripes. During a later stint as a magician's assistant, a grumpy audience begins pelting Sy with fruit, at which point "it happened. A miracle. Covered in fruit cocktail, Sy Kravitz regain[s] his color" and becomes visible again. An eccentric moral ("Time, and fruit, heals all wounds") does little to explicate the theme (or point) of the story. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)