NOT WHAT IT SEEMS by Paula Vásquez

NOT WHAT IT SEEMS

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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KIRKUS REVIEW

As the title indicates, nothing is what it seems in this Chilean import.

A rooster doubles as an alarm clock; an elephant’s trunk gives a good shower to a kangaroo; the kangaroo’s pouch provides a shopping cart for a deer, whose antlers become handy clothes hangers; and so on in a sequence that all leads up to the revelation that “This is NOT a BOOK / it is a…PARTY.” As each animal is introduced, it appears next to the assertion of what it is not, so what is plainly a rooster looks out at readers next to text that proclaims, “this is NOT a rooster.” With the turn of the page, it is depicted standing atop the elephant crowing, which explains why the text calls it an alarm clock. Each animal looks grumpy or distressed upon introduction but then happy as its utility as a tool for others is revealed, a transformation that, however whimsical, seems to suggest that there is pleasure in being exploited. The animals are highly stylized and rendered in bright, flat colors reminiscent of ice cream; bold shapes are outlined in black with the registration slightly off, which gives the book the appearance of having been traditionally printed.

Ultimately the book’s concept is too thin and unlikely to sustain interest beyond one reading. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 21st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4236-4691-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2017




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