From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–There's nothing mundane or predictable about Banyai's wordless picture book. As in Zoom
(both Viking, 1995), the illustrator takes his audience on a visual journey that begins with a nearly blank page that, when turned, reveals instructions for folding a paper airplane. On the next page, a girl in her high-rise apartment practices her cello and a paper airplane can be seen outside her window. Readers flip the page to see the girl's building from the outside looking in. Paper airplanes are everywhere, thanks to a young neighbor one floor up who has been practicing his folding skills. Each pair of pages, front and back, presents inside and outside views, and although the scenes are not obviously linked to a larger plotline, they are connected through reoccurring images, colors, and themes. This is a challenging book, one that allows for creative speculation. The graphite-rendered artwork is quirky as well as infinitely interesting. Not everyone will get the sly humor, or be prepared to indulge in a book that demands such work. However, those who give it a try will be drawn into a thought-provoking, whimsical world. It's a book that begs to be talked about, and teachers will find it a useful tool for discussions about point-of-view and perspective.–Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada
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Gr. 4-7. Like the cerebral doodlings found within Banyai's previous, wordless picture books, Zoom
this title, also wordless, will best suit readers in the middle grades and beyond. Banyai explores the concept of "the other side" through visual vignettes offering contrasting perspectives on dreamlike scenarios, often revealing previously hidden information that significantly alters how a scene is perceived. The book's abrupt transition from fluidly interconnected scenes to unrelated pairs of images may leave some observers fruitlessly searching for connecting threads, but this inconsistency shouldn't be insurmountable for most members of the target audience. Even some YAs will be drawn by the urbane, cutting-edge sensibility (this may, in fact, be the first picture book to contain a depiction of an iPod). Choose specific images to spur creative writing, discuss the whole thing in the context of lessons on point of view, or simply offer it as a wake-up call to jaded preteens about what a picture book can be. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved