In his eagerly anticipated debut as author-illustrator, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree Christian Robinson brings young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world.
What if you... encountered another perspective? Discovered another world? Met another you? What might you do?
Caldecott Honor artist Robinson's wordless solo debut opens in the middle of the night, when a brown-skinned girl with beaded braids is woken by a disturbance: a black cat that looks just like hers slinks through a glowing hole in her bedroom wall, takes her cat's mouse toy, and exits. As she and her cat follow, spot illustrations on white spreads show the two in a topsy-turvy journey through portals, over a conveyer belt and Escher-like stairs, and into a ball pit. Eventually, they arrive at a place where children of many ethnicities and appearances play. Each child has "another," readers see--a double, a twin. Soon, the girl and her cat meet their own doubles, who enter upside down on the opposite page. The girl's similar returns the toy and the two part happily, order restored. Simple geometric shapes and expanses of empty space make the spreads easy to consider, and Robinson nails the pacing, using each page turn for a comic or conceptual beat. Almost all children wonder whether there are others exactly like them somewhere out in the universe, doing the same thing at exactly the same time. By playing with that idea while juxtaposing similarity and difference, Robinson creates an almost mystical Droste effect of a story that is all mirrors and windows for the group of various children who are offered portals to reach one another. He also creates a speculative world with its own logic, and an adventure that will both puzzle and amuse. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS-Gr 2—Both beautiful and fanciful, this wordless picture book recounts the dream journey of a little girl and her cat. As she slumbers, a portal of light appears in her bedroom, and an identical black cat—with a blue rather than red collar—appears. The visitor pounces on a red toy mouse, which he snatches as he runs back from whence he came. The girl's cat follows him with his owner, now wide awake, close behind. They encounter an undulating staircase, a roomful of colorful balls, and a bright, stripy treadmill, in a world with children of all backgrounds playing together. Hobby horses, hula hoops, sidewalk drawings, jump ropes, bubbles, and books occupy the happy youngsters. Here the girl meets her alternate self in an almost identical nightshirt—sporting a blue, rather than red planet. The other child pets her cat and retrieves the coveted red mouse, tossing it to its rightful owners. They say goodbye and return through their respective portals, back to their own worlds. The girl sleeps again; the cat rests on the bed with his toy. All is as it was...or is it? Was that blue mouse on the floor always there? Vibrant shapes reminiscent of Paul Klee or Piet Mondrian fill the pages. In the bedroom world, the background is black, while the dream world is set against stark white. The endpapers are painted a deep blue with planets, stars, and moons. VERDICT A work of art and celebration of childhood for all libraries.—Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NYCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.