MIRROR PLAY by Monte Shin
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10
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As if by magic, 12 spinning figures suddenly become recognizable shapes when turned beneath a piece of reflective foil.

Sharp attention and the ability to apply slow, steady pressure on the turns are musts for good results. The foil, on a cleverly designed rectangular flap, covers exactly half of each spinner, and when held up at a 90-degree angle, this creates a symmetrical reflection that, at just one specific point as the shape is pushed around, resolves into coherence. The shape suddenly becomes half of an airplane, a partially peeled banana, a mouse, or some other identifiable item. Shin makes it nearly impossible to predict what the animal or thing will be beforehand, as viewed without the mirror, the movable parts are abstract blobs or geometrical constructs. There is the occasional bit of misdirection, such as an apparent snake’s head on what, with the mirror, turns out to be a pair of scissors. But along with a visual key to all 12 solutions at the end, each page turn provides a leading question such as, “Did you find the mosquito?” along with a tiny image that invites turning back for a second try. The simple, brightly colored art is printed on heavy stock, and the moving pieces are firmly enough fastened to survive heavy use.

Superb exercises in both pattern recognition and manual dexterity. (Novelty. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-988-8341-53-5
Page count: 26pp
Publisher: Minedition
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018


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