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Month in review

Reviews
An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley Alienated by Melissa Landers
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
Internet Famous by Danika Stone
The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
Out of Tune by Gail Nall
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd
A Side of Sabotage by C.M. Surrisi
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Miscellaneous
February 2018 Sources
February 2018 Summary
It's Monday, what are you reading (March 05) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 12) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 19) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 26)

Road Essays
Introduction to the road narrative project
Metaphoric language of marginalized travelers
Place Character Shibboleth: Towards an understanding of bypass stories
Rethinking Urban Fantasy: Where is Nagspeake?
Road trip to the underworld: the Nome King and Hades

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination: 03/12/18

Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination

Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno is a wordless picture book about gnomes living in an Escheresque world. Purposely the explanations of what's going on in each illustration is left out, leaving it up to the reader to "stretch the imagination."

According to GoodReads, I was first interested in the book in the summer of 2016. Based on the date, I had just come back from a whirlwind road trip. I believe I heard about his books on one of the many lists suggesting math books for young children. Specifically they recommend Math Games and the Multiplying Jar.

I chose Topsy-Turvies for my own nostalgic reasons. When I was a child my grandparents would take me to the library for story time. While I didn't like sitting crisscross applesauce (as my kids call it), I did like being read to.

The one story time I remember best (which isn't very well at all nearly 40 years later) is one that was themed around optical illusions and color theory. Mitsumasa Anno's books, whether this one, or a different one, was probably among the lot read to us.

The frustrating thing about the story time was that I LOVED the books. I wanted to take them home and re-read them. But I couldn't remember what had been read to me. What I should have done (but I was young and at the time librarians were scary to me, except when reading books) was ask what books had been read. Or had my grandfather ask on my behalf. But I didn't.

Topsy-Turvies for the most part works. There is one page with a cutaway showing the inside of a farmhouse. Some of the gnomes are on the ceiling and some are not. It's otherwise a fairly normal looking scene. There's really nothing surreal about it. Nor was there any sort of discernible optical illusion.

Also none of the individual illustration seem to be tied together in a plot or theme — beyond gnomes in unreal spaces. In this regard the book falls short of its potential.

Three stars

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