WHAT'S NEXT? by Robert Wood


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The Tana Hoban photo-sequence teaser, of Look Again! and Take Another Look, is here literally made into a quiz--with quite mixed results. The one thing that's unvarying and uninviting is the drabness of the photos: their lack of contrast and clear-cut detail. Otherwise it's mildly unusual to see a turtle emerge from a cracking egg, mildly amusing to see bubble-gum bubbles burst over the faces of two grinning little girls. One sequence is as obviously staged as a blackout skit (a loose tooth is tied to a doorknob--but off comes the doorknob, instead of the tooth); two are as mechanical as a here's-how manual (the clay, shaped on a potter's wheel, that becomes a bowl; the sheep, shorn, that yields a pile of wool). There's one trick sequence in which a blurry youngster reaches out from a TV screen and adjusts the set, to present a clear image of himself; and, at the last, another kind of trick that's sheer deception. An old man (whom one might think, anxiously, was about to die) turns out, as bits of make-up are removed, to be a youngish actor. Some youngsters will enjoy the guessing even though, in effect, Wood keeps changing the rules of the game; but little thought appears to have been given to either the content or the form. And it's anything but attractive-looking.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1982
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin