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NEW YORK IN PAJAMARAMA by Michaël  Leblond


by Michaël Leblond ; illustrated by Frédérique Bertrand

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-907912-23-8
Publisher: Trafalgar Square

A low-rent Scanimation-knockoff import features a small sheet of finely barred plastic that creates moiré patterns and streams of movement when slid across a set of large, garish abstracts.

Aside from a mention of Central Park in the text and a “Broadway” street sign in one illustration, there is nothing here specific to the Big Apple. Instead, a carrot-nosed cartoon figure in striped pajamas floats over swirls of short, bar code–like lines. These are transformed, by sliding the plastic sheet very slowly across the page, into aerial views of dots, circles and spinning wheels moving through intersections or vaguely urban settings. Some scenes toward the end become fields of flashing lights intense enough to make the cautionary note on the back cover (“WARNING: CONTAINS FLASHING IMAGES”) a good idea. After delivering commentary that runs to inane lines like “The traffic speeds in a tangled race, / but all roads lead to much the same place,” the PJ-clad guide flies back to bed with a “Wakey, wakey, rise and shine! / Goodbye my friend, / Until next time.” A “next time” is unlikely for most readers.

A one-trick pony—and the visual trick is much better presented in Rufus Butler Seder’s actual Scanimation series.

(Picture book/novelty. 6-8)