ROUND TRIP by Ann Jonas


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More than her When You Were a Baby and Two Bear Cubs (both 1982), the emphatic black-and-white silhouettes and basic concept of Round Trip bear considerable resemblance to the picture books of Jonas' husband Donald Crewes--but Jonas, in one of the smartest of the turnabout tricks, stands the visual journey on its head by reversing ground and figure on the return trip. Going through from the beginning, with black trees and houses outlined against the white sky, ""We started out as soon as it was light. Our neighborhood was quiet, the houses dark."" Continuing through black streets, fields, water (below a bridge), and other scenes, we end up in an urban grid of buildings: ""We watched as the sun set. Time to turn around""--whereupon, as we reverse the book for the return, the same scene becomes night: ""The sky was dark. Lights came on all over the city."" Proceeding back, we look up at a tall building we've just looked down from, dine in a restaurant that we'd visited as a movie theatre, and watch as a subway train becomes a garage, lights in black skyscrapers become stars above white skyscrapers, bridge underpinnings become telephone poles, highways tutu into searchlights and winding roads to lightning--until, ""Home again,"" the white road leading up to the house in early morning is now smoke issuing from the chimney at night. Even without trying you may catch some of the reversals in advance, but not enough to spoil the look-again transformation. Show-stopping sleight of pen.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1983
ISBN: 068801772X
Publisher: Greenwillow