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Hang Glider and Mud Mask Hardcover – November 15, 2012


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Hardcover, November 15, 2012
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Frequently Bought Together

Hang Glider and Mud Mask + Symphony City + The Night Riders
Price for all three: $39.62

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's McMullens (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936365839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936365838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is awesome."
Daniel Handler

"Beautiful."
Daniel Clowes

"Another gem from McSweeney's McMullens.... I love the idea of a children's book hero with cucumber slices for eyes."
50 Watts

"Wholly original... With imagery and palette as unusual as the format, it's an odd—and oddly successful—journey."
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Accomplishes the loftiest goal a picture book with few words can: It greatly enriches the experience of gathering together as a family."
SF Weekly

"Readers can start from either story and find themselves floating through luminous images in this dreamlike adventure. Dramatic and engaging."
The Public Library of Cincinnati


"To reach the arms I grabbed my wing and found the cliff and ran and leapt. . . .
To reach the legs I turned the key and climbed the stairs to the ladder . . ."
— from the book

About the Author

Brian McMullen lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons. He edits and designs the McSweeney's McMullens children's book series for McSweeney's.

Jason Jägel lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters. His work has been exhibited internationally for almost twenty years. This is McMullen and Jägel's first book for children.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
I'm glad this book exists.
Racter
If you know a kid who enjoys fun and adventure, he or she will probably love this book.
starrynight
It unfolds to a z-shape which draws in its audience before a word is even read.
mama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mama on February 2, 2013
With half a dozen young children of all ages, my family has very much enjoyed this work for many different reasons.

Upon introduction to it, the physical structure of the book is simply captivating; when opening the packaging, enclosed is a book that is surely unlike any other in both appearance and architecture. It unfolds to a z-shape which draws in its audience before a word is even read.

Next is a decision: "Do I start at this cover? Or the other one?" Because it is "infinite" in a nature, there is no true beginning or ending. For the outside-the-box thinker, this is quite attractive. You read it one way. Then the other. Then you want to compare/contrast back to the first way, and you find yourself eagerly reading it again.

My children and I have had many discussions about the book's (...or is it books'--you decide...) meaning. With few words, there is so much left to the imagination of the reader. Kids may speculate if it is a dream and discuss connections to that. They may ponder the idea of beginning versus ending. Ultimately they will gravitate to it just because it is unique and therefore "cool" as it can be read in two directions. (My kids have shared this text with their classes at school... the ultimate compliment...)

For the adult reader, you are left wondering: Is it about the challenge of finding common ground with others and meeting in the middle? Is it about centering yourself so that you are a grounded individual? Literally? Figuratively? Is there something more?

"Hang Glider and Mud Mask" can be enjoyed on so many different levels (which is fittingly metaphorical for this text). :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LiteracyLady3 on November 19, 2012
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Hang Glider and Mud Mask is the perfect gift for young children. What makes this book so unique and praiseworthy is the fact that it has two stories that flow into one another. Children will enjoy reading the story from the two different beginnings time and time again. It is truly a work of both genius and art! I highly recommend ordering a copy of Hang Glider and Mud Mask. The book is certain to entertain and inspire any child's imagination!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Racter on November 19, 2012
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In a word, this book is about serendipity. Two different people travel two different paths, finding each other in the nick of time. The colors in the art (orange and teal, and olive green) remind me a little bit of Dr. Seuss. My sons (5 and 2) both like the Mud Masked character best. "Can she see?" Well, I'm not sure. "Maybe she's more like a bat," I've said, "navigating with some kind of special Mud Mask power." Or maybe the little dots on her eyes are like bees' eyes. Maybe she can see ten times as well as you and me. I'm glad this book exists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By starrynight on November 18, 2012
I have to strongly disagree with the previous reviewer, who said children probably won't like this title. Just today, my 4 1/2 year old son went to his room for some down time, closed the door and picked out this book to "read" to himself, out of the perhaps 250 books in his room. (Yes, we have a fairly large collection of children's books, considering we have three kids and we are a family of readers.)

One aspect I love about Hang Glider & Mud Mask--aside from the obviously cool double spine, which I've never seen before and makes the book totally unique--is the fact that it doesn't give you every detail of the story. You have to use your brain to imagine. You have to pick up clues and put the story together yourself. I do agree with the other reviewer that it is in some ways rather like a piece of abstract art, though I find that children often appreciate abstract art more than adults do, because they know that meaning can be conveyed in color, line, shape, and mood--not only in conventional text or representative imagery. It's fun to try and imagine why a little girl might be wearing a mud mask and cucumbers on her eyes, and why a little boy might choose to soar across the city.

If you know a kid who enjoys fun and adventure, he or she will probably love this book. Highly recommended.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TheLibraryFaerie on November 15, 2012
This book is very bizarre. The illustrations are interesting, and the way the covers are constructed is very cool. But the story makes NO sense. Why is the girl wearing a mud mask, with cucumbers on her eyes? No idea. It's not even mentioned. Why is she climbing up to grab the boys legs, and why is he flying down to her arms? It's very abstract, and I honestly don't think many children will get it or find it interesting. It feels like it belongs in an abstract art exhibit--possibly adults could appreciate it (I guess?) but there's not much there to appeal to a child.
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