by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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British television writer MacRae’s first foray into picture books personifies the source of a few common childhood mishaps as “The Opposite,” a doughy, beak-nosed imp who does just the reverse of what little Nate intends. The creature, having already delayed Nate’s getting up, reappears atop a counter in a saucepan hat at breakfast. Nate, always a careful pourer, watches as, “instead of the milk pouring down, it poured up, splashing against the ceiling and then dripping down all over the tablecloth.” At school, during a chaotic painting session, Nate discovers how to outsmart The Opposite—by saying the opposite of what’s needed. “The work I have done today is messy and untidy,” he opines. Voilà! “Nate’s painting was now as tidy and perfect as you please.” Odriozola’s staid watercolor-and-ink pictures depict curiously expressionless white faces with tiny eyes and feverish red cheeks. Nate’s leonine profile becomes a wide oval full on, with a mere dash for a nose. Despite a sunny color palate and appealing patterns, the mannered art flattens, rather than elevates, this one-joke text. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2010
ISBN: 1-56145-371-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Peachtree
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2006