cover image Demis Opposites

Demis Opposites

Demi. Grosset & Dunlap, $10.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-448-18995-6

A mirror image is supposed to be a look-alike, but to the geese in this concept book, it's an opposite. A circle and a square are not really physical opposites but conceptual ones, which is a difficult idea for the oldest reader in the target age group. Other more obvious opposites are awake/asleep, front/back, fast/slow, many/few, big/little, etc. Rhymes do not make this more lucid: ""some birds are near/ some birds are far/ it just depends on where you are.'' Throughout, Demi tries, teasingly, to engage the reader: ``a cheetah is fast/ a snail is slow/ if you could choose/ how would you go?'' Ultrabright colors are designed to lure the eye, but simple abstract forms are emphasized and render these pictures dry and distant. And some opposites are inconceivable: black and white appears to be black and gray. The artist's last picture is the message of the mystical auroboros that joins the beginning and the end. A well-meaning but unsuccessful attempt to both educate and entertain. Ages 3-7. (September)