IT'S FOR YOU by John Talbot


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 & up
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 An artful, abstruse puzzle book, that ventures, literally, to put readers in a box, fold in on itself and open out again. A enigmatic parcel arrives by post, then riddles in rhyme conduct each page and readers confront one after another conundrum. Clues are lost in a torrent of distractions, elaborate deceptions, obscure references, oblique hints; even mirror-writing comes into the equation, to coax and flummox. This is a profoundly knotty exercise; readers will feel that they've been had, and will find it all too easy to be confounded, stricken with math anxiety, or just suffer momentary feebleness. The pictures provide some alternative pathways to the answers; each spread is a self-contained game system: mazes, snakes and ladders, circular staircases, pinball machines, jigsaw puzzles. Escher comes to mind, so do Saturday afternoon serials (given the sheer number of cliffhangers), and a not-so-easy-going Waldoonly in this case it is a chick (accompanied by a boy) that hatches at the beginning scenes and grows ever bigger on each page. Geometric shapes and bold architecture fill the spreads; pictures, by turns comic and sinister, have red herrings enough to maintain a sense of utter confusion. The visual, not the verbal or the arithmetical, is the real winner in this work that requires more patience than brain power, method, or fun-loving participation. (Picture book. 9+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-45402-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1995