Prepare to feel the ache.
This week I'm sharing an older title that stands the test of time.
Title: Round Trip
Author/Illustrator: Ann Jonas (Ann died in 2013 but you can read a profile of her here and one obituary in the School Library Journal here)
Publisher: Scholastic, 1983
Intended age: 5-8
Themes: Travel, city/country
Opening lines: "We started out as soon as it was light.
Our neighborhood was quiet, the houses dark."
Synopsis: The author/illustrator uses black and white silhouettes to tell the story of a family's trip to the city and back.
What I like about this book: I have read armloads of books about trips to the city or vice versa. What makes this book special? The silhouettes are cut so that you page through the book to the end--but it ISN'T the end. At page 32 you flip the open book 180 degrees and page back to the start. Reading the book upside down. With the same illustrations "working" in both directions. Yes, it's a little bit gimmicky but it's done so well that I don't care. And yes, there are a few spreads where the story feels "tweaked" to fit the illustrations. But again, I don't care. It's so much fun to read and look at how the images mesh! Like the optical illusion of the Rubin vase/lady (see the vase/lady here), your eyes see one thing at a time, even though the other image is obvious as soon as you flip the book over. And as a Kickstarter campaign participant, I love the fact that it was a Reading Rainbow book.
Resources: If you have a teachingbooks.net account you can access an author interview and teaching guide for this book. This book is used as a resource for a lesson plan integrating math and reading titled "Going on a Shape Hunt" posted by Liza Cranston on readwritethink.org.
Although the copy I bought at a used book sale was published by Scholastic, it appears that Harper Collins also publishes it and you can see a sample of several pages here. Better to do this on a laptop where you can easily turn the images around than on a tabletop monitor! If you want to hear the whole book, head to Youtube!
Talk with your children about a round trip-to school or to a grandparents house. Do you take the same route each direction? How is the trip each direction the same and different?
Talk about what a silhouette is and then after dark get a flashlight and make shadow puppets. Cut out silhouette shapes and look at them from different directions.
Above all, HAVE FUN! This book ignites imagination.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF
This book IS an old one. Have you read it? Let me know in your comments. :) There is no Perfect Picture Book Friday next week, but I hope you'll stop by to read my Halloweensie story!