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HANG GLIDER & MUD MASK by Brian McMullen


by Brian McMullen & illustrated by Jason Jägel

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-936365-83-8
Publisher: McSweeney's McMullens

Geometric shapes, matte colors and agitated line create energy and movement in this surreal kind-of love story that is possibly not aimed at children at all.

The small, square volume is bound dos-à-dos, two stories that meet and climax in the middle, with two front covers. Mud Mask is a girl wearing, well, a mud mask and cucumber slices over her eyes in a classic spa image. “To reach the legs” she sees floating above, she leaves her underground place via stairs, ladder and rope until she emerges from a hole. “To reach the arms” he sees held out to him, Hang Glider leaps from the cliff of his building, flying down on a glider that changes color—blue, yellow, green, gold—and lands in Mud Mask’s arms. One of her hands is bandaged in this meeting, though not in the one from her perspective. This might be a metaphor of love and salvation or a dream sequence the creators could not resist. Readers can start from either beginning and end up at the same rescue. Younger readers may be befuddled, or they may take the few words and the dramatic shape of the images and create their own landscape of story.

Unusual not so much in its binding (there have been others) as in its willful but engaging opacity. (Picture book. 7-12)