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Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from D.B. Johnson, Author of Palazzo InversoDear Amazon Reader, Have you ever thought how much fun it would be if, when you reached the end of a picture book, you could turn it upside down and magically read all the way back to the front? Wouldn't it be amazing if the pictures made sense, right side up AND upside down? When I told my son about this idea, his immediate response was, "Only M.C. Escher could do those pictures." My son is a writer, and we brainstormed the story together. We both loved the optical illusions and puzzles of the Dutch artist, M. C. Escher. If only we could capture the magic and playfulness of those endlessly looping stairs and topsy-turvy rooms in a story about a palazzo that's built upside down! The hero of the story is a young apprentice named Mauk. Like most kids, he loves to draw, but grownups like his Master will only let him sharpen the pencils. And when things go wrong, like most kids, he gets all the blame. One lucky circumstance saves our small hero: when Mauk turns the drawing of the palazzo right side up again, a magical thing happens--he alone can run on the ceiling of the Palazzo Inverso! Those who have read my five books about a bear named Henry, beginning with Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (Houghton Mifflin 2000), will understand why I wrote Palazzo Inverso. The book meshes perfectly with my desire to bring the ideas of great writers and artists to young children. Just as my bear reenacts Henry David Thoreau's quest to live a simple life, Mauk is the young M. C. Escher, imagining an impossible world full of surprising possibilities. I want kids to feel the power and exhilaration of running on the ceiling, of knowing that everything for them is still possible. I am reminded that Thoreau wrote that he always regretted he was not as smart as the day he was born. And Escher tells us, "I don't grow up. In me is the small child of my early days." Happy reading!
(Photo © Medora Herbert)
My almost 4 year old is thoroughly enjoying Palazzo Inverso and so am I. A great introduction to Escher's style while telling a coherent story -- it is not the story OF Escher,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anne Boynton
This is by far, the most interesting kids book available. My kids (ages 3 and 5) love the story, the pictures, the fact that you have to turn the book upside down and 'break the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was a terrible move to eBook format as pictures on double page spreads were divided by white space on the screen ...etcPublished 23 months ago by MissHayleyMac
Great book but the condition claimed it was new. We received it and it didn't look new. Really enjoyed the story though.Published on July 1, 2013 by Amazon Customer
the book paraphrases the wonderful work of Esher and frankly a good art book of his amazing art would serve the reader much better - no matter how old he is!Published on November 8, 2012 by Pnina Marzel
The story is pretty good. Seems like it was kind of written to fit the pictures, but how else could you do a book like this? Students seem to like the story enough. Read morePublished on January 14, 2011 by VLD13