cover image This Book Is Upside Down

This Book Is Upside Down

Erin Rose Wage, illus. by Simona Ceccarelli. PI Kids, $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5037-5246-7

If it all depends on one’s point of view, who’s to say that Penelope Giraffe is right side up and her friend Gus Penguin is upside down? Penelope, portrayed right side up on the verso’s “floor,” might be holding her book upside down, but Gus, situated upside down on the recto’s “ceiling,” isn’t so sure. The book isn’t upside down, he thinks—Penelope is. The two banter back and forth in text that continues the directional confusion. Penelope gamely attempts to verify Gus’s hypothesis, performing an impressively gawky looping jump that lands her in Gus’s vantage point; Gus pours tea and consults with a local lobster. The characters’ breezy cool (despite their tangling with gravity, neither ever loses their temper), Wage’s (Fox Gives Thanks) repartee, and Ceccarelli’s (If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon) painterly digital portraits, showcased against lots of white space, establish a comedy sketch feel early on and deliver on it. The only question is whether readers will be charmed or annoyed by continually turning the book this way and that to regain their equilibrium. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]