Displaying the same sense of ingenuity that figured in The Giant Ball of String, the young hero of Lights Out by Arthur Geisert overcomes his or her fear of the dark. In a nearly wordless book, cross-hatch ink lines and watercolor wash demonstrate the piglet's brilliant solution when it comes time to turn out the lights. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Our young piglet narrator is afraid to go to sleep in the dark. But his parents insist that the light be turned off at eight. So he must "figure something out." All this is revealed on page one. The rest of the book shows us, with no text at all, how the clever fellow makes it work. Geisert's detailed colored etchings seem just right to describe the complex Rube Goldberg-type contraption our piglet has designed to turn off his lamp at the required hour. The initial double-page scene of him reading in bed shows his elaborate diagrams and tools along the walls. He starts the action with a cord that activates scissors in the attic cutting a string which gets a weight to knock over a parade of dominoes. Events move from inside to outside the house, then down the basement stairs. From time to time we get a cross-section view of the house, then switch back to the individual pieces, including such wild items as a magnet, bicycle wheel, saw, and a baseball bat. A final double page shows a cutaway view of the house, with mom and dad peacefully watching television, and spotlights showing the 29 activities numbered with their locations marked inside the house. Perhaps some inventive readers may be inspired by this ingenuity. 2005, Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A small pig creates an ingenious way to turn his light out at 8 p.m., as his parents require, but also to have the time he needs to settle into sleep before the room goes dark. His elaborate, Rube Goldbergian construction will have young readers poring over each page as a sequence of mechanical events unfolds. Only a few words introduce the story, but the visual narrative is lively and complex, showing the movement of each object in turn as the action runs up to the roof, down the walls, through the yard, into the basement, and so on. The porker sinks under the covers and his parents read calmly in the living room while the extraordinary machine does its work around the house. Readers will notice that the plans for this lights-out contraption are tacked up on the walls of the small pig's room, and that he's left some of his tools lying about-a wonderful and sweet attention to detail. Fans of roller-coaster construction, marble runs, and contraptionlike machines will be immediately engaged, and the problem-solving humor is for everyone. The fine lines and small scale of Geisert's color art work perfectly to give an effect that is intimate, energetic, and delightful.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Another blue-ribbon winner from Geisert, this one is a kinetic wonder. The first page sets the stage for the mechanical caper: "My parents make me turn off the light at eight. They know I'm afraid to go to sleep unless the light is on. They said, 'If you can figure something out-go ahead.' So I did." As the innocent-looking piglet pulls the light cord, it launches a series of wordless scenes depicting a Rube Goldberg contraption setting off a domino effect that finally ends in the basement where pulleys and levers release a bat and ball rigged up to the third floor, turning off the lamp beside the bed-just as the pig has fallen asleep. Kids and adults alike will be enthralled as they trace each of the 29 steps. Combining the fascination of A Giant Ball of String (2002) with the precision of The Etcher's Studio (1997) and the reader involvement of Mystery (2003), the actions and reactions are realistic enough to wonder if Geisert built an actual working model. From the mechanical drawings on the bedroom walls to the cutaway scenes detailing each piece of the apparatus, this is imaginatively, ingeniously inventive. (legend of each step) (Picture book. 7-10)
From the Publisher
"Another blue-ribbon winner from Geisert." --Kirkus, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Like Geisert’s etchings, an art form that calls forth inventors’ blueprints and illustrations from Victorian-era catalogs, this book reminds us to delight in the messy, low-tech route from point A to point B." —Booklist, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"The meticulously rendered illustrations carefully track the ingenious work of this junior Rube Goldberg . . . and mechanically minded readers will revel in the minutiae." —Horn Book Horn Book
"The fine lines and small scale of Geisert’s color art work perfectly to give an effect that is intimate, energetic, and delightful."–School Library Journal School Library Journal