“Where there’s an end / there’s a beginning. / Things grow. / Things change.”
Twelve figures are each placed singly on a white page: a change purse; Mom’s glasses; sister’s headphones. On the recto, which is always a foldout, is a simple description: a number (“Fig. 8”), the name of the object (“Guitar case”), a “last seen” note (“Hillcrest Park—birthday party”). Opening the foldout marks the beginning of the magic. A series of photographic images on the same white background show the transformation of the object into something rich and strange, if not always recognizable. A blue umbrella transmutes into a jellyfish in four steps. Dad’s messenger bag metamorphoses into a spiny sea creature. Amazingly, a set of keys and their ring become a tropical garden. Even more amazingly, each object in each multiple incarnation is made entirely of Japanese paper sculpture. All of them are displayed in a double-page spread at the end on a pale azure background, and the book closes with a photograph of the artist so readers can see how small these fabulous creations are. The nature of art, the nature of transformation, and where all those lost items go are spun into the gold of philosophy and puckishness.
Perhaps more an artist’s book than a children’s book but universally mesmerizing. (Picture book. 5-12)