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Boy Meets Girl/Girl Meets Boy Hardcover – August 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–Two avant-garde children's book creators team up for an enigmatic offering, originally published in France, which they suggest reading forward, backward, and upside down ("keep reading even if you have to stand on your head!"). On each spread the text (22 words in all) appears twice, at top right side up in black type, and on the bottom, upside down and transposed in blue. In between, boldly colored, richly textured childlike paintings sprawl across the pages and illustrate the words. At the halfway point in either story, the sparse linear narrative seems to demand a change in direction, but in which direction? Moving forward, the narratives sort of make sense (though the pictures are upside down) when the words are read right to left, that is until the last pages when "Boy meets" or "Girl meets," doesn't fit with the pattern. Flipping the book at midpoint requires the same right to left reading, with the same upside-down pictures and mystifying conclusion. If this sounds confusing, it is, and while children will enjoy the playful art and may get some satisfaction from being able to read the simple words, they are likely to be lost in the puzzle of the artists' conceptualization.–Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Boy meets girl and girl meets boy in a bidirectional experiment that busts linear narrative to smithereens. Both illustrations and text are exemplars of minimalism, the simple cast of characters being made up of those daubs of bright paint, which miraculously evoke the sheer essence of things. The text reads identically both forward and backward, each word--one to a page--appearing both right-side-up and upside-down. Readers are exhorted to "keep reading . . . even if you have to stand on your head!"--an instruction they'll need to bear in mind, as the straightforward narration goes absolutely wonky once past the middle. Likewise, the green cat sunning itself properly in a chair is, on the return trip, suddenly suspended upside-down in space--but not if you're on your head. It's utterly brilliant in its simplicity and daring, but it remains to be seen whether concretely thinking preschoolers will be won over by the dovetailing of the narratives--or just plain mystified." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Radunsky's broad-stroke illustrations, like the dripping watercolors often found on a kidergarten easel create a sense of fluid motion. The figures often cleverly wrap from one turn of the page to another, and the changing font sizes complement the bright colors of his limited palette on stark white pages." -Publishers Weekly


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