From the Publisher
"Istvan Banyai's new book, The Other Side, like its predecessors, Zoom and Rezoom, is visually elegant, devilishly clever and not dependent on words." -The New York Times Book Review "
Cunning line drawings serve up a fast-paced, hall-of-mirrors-style adventure that cleverly reveals a timeless point: There are two sides to every story." -Parenting Magazine "
...another transformative page-turner." -Publishers Weekly "
If this is a children's book, I don't ever want to grow up." -The Kansas City Star "
Children who delight in picture puzzles or who enjoy meticulously decoding sequential art may barely come up for air." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"
There's nothing mundane or predictable about Banyai's wordless picture book....This is a challenging book, one that allows for creative speculation. The graphite-rendered artwork is quirky as well as infinitely interesting. Not everyone will get the sly humor, or be prepared to indulge in a book that demands such work. However, those who give it a try will be drawn into a though-provoking, whimsical world. It's a book that begs to be talked about, and teachers will find it a useful tool for discussions about point-of-view and perspective." -School Library Journal
Like a Mabius strip, each page in this revelatory, nearly wordless book offers intimate perspectives on the same scene. In one of the simplest vignettes, the word "loop" flips into "pool," and in another, a circular spotlight shape highlights a tiny red triangle in the center of a page, while "the other side" pictures a yellow chick pecking through the paper. The initial pages encourage readers to seek a narrative, as in REM, Banyai's riff on dreaming, or Zoom, whose "plot" involved infinitely expanding views on the world. At first, six diagrams demonstrate how to fold a paper airplane, an indoor view follows the plane out of an apartment window and an outdoor view shows a boy at an adjacent window, releasing a flurry of origami planes. The very next page pictures a jet flying over a city, and "the other side" pictures its seated, bored passengers. Yet as the book proceeds, the images' connections grow more tenuous until unity is provided by only a few recurrent objects (a penguin, a spotted dog) and Banyai's hip style: graphite sketches enhanced with crisp digital colors such as stop-sign red, pale pink and hazard yellow. This volume's puzzles are not as densely intertwined as those in Banyai's previous work, but the author contrives yet another transformative page-turner. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Words are scattered here and there, but basically this challenging book is wordless. What is happening in this series of striking, full-page illustrations? The title is a clue: the scene on one page is followed by a view from another perspective, or side. The paper airplane made on the first page flies out the window on the next, then joins many others outside the building on the next. We are outside a real airplane, then we are inside, and then we are watching it from a beach. Motifs and characters disappear and reappear, making a complete circle at the end. But there is no clear narrative unless the inventive reader creates one. Black lines define characters and objects with white and touches of color for things like clothes, an umbrella, distant sand dunes creating a series of surreal scenes in digitally-colored graphite. They demand attention; they seem to insist that we supply content to the strange contexts and images with their visual magnetism. This is a worthy companion to the author's previous sly challenges, Zoom, Re-Zoom, and Minus Equals Plus, but not for everyone. 2005, Chronicle Books, Ages 4 up.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-There's nothing mundane or predictable about Banyai's wordless picture book. As in Zoom and Re-Zoom (both Viking, 1995), the illustrator takes his audience on a visual journey that begins with a nearly blank page that, when turned, reveals instructions for folding a paper airplane. On the next page, a girl in her high-rise apartment practices her cello and a paper airplane can be seen outside her window. Readers flip the page to see the girl's building from the outside looking in. Paper airplanes are everywhere, thanks to a young neighbor one floor up who has been practicing his folding skills. Each pair of pages, front and back, presents inside and outside views, and although the scenes are not obviously linked to a larger plotline, they are connected through reoccurring images, colors, and themes. This is a challenging book, one that allows for creative speculation. The graphite-rendered artwork is quirky as well as infinitely interesting. Not everyone will get the sly humor, or be prepared to indulge in a book that demands such work. However, those who give it a try will be drawn into a thought-provoking, whimsical world. It's a book that begs to be talked about, and teachers will find it a useful tool for discussions about point-of-view and perspective.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A nearly wordless and somewhat fractured foray into what happens when you look at things from a different perspective. Graphite illustrations, with spots of red or yellow digitally added and altered, explore the other side of everything, from windows to the earth. An origami airplane (diagram included) soars out an open window. A real airplane is viewed from the sky and then from its interior, where a boy sees the beach where he's about to vacation. Readers see a zoo tiger from inside and outside the bars, and a clown on stage in front of and behind the curtain. Things are not always what they seem, of course, as what looks like a robbery on one side turns out to be a movie shoot on the other. A boy in a red baseball cap, a girl with a pink bow in her hair and a spotted dog turn up in various places. One even sees the earth from the moon, and the moon from the boy's rooftop. Full of ways to tease out the story and think about how to see things. (Picture book. 5-10)