Review of Another

Another
by Christian Robinson; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    56 pp.
3/19    978-1-5344-2167-7    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2168-4    $10.99

For his solo picture book debut, Robinson (illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, rev. 3/15; School’s First Day of School, rev. 3/16; When’s My Birthday?, rev. 9/17; and more) offers a smart, sly, and imaginative wordless story about a girl and her cat embarking on a fantastical adventure. The girl is asleep in bed (on the right-hand page) when her wakeful, red-collared cat notices a white, ovular space shining from the verso. Turn the page, and there’s another cat (this one in a blue collar) peeking out from that oval. The red-collared cat pursues the blue-collared one into the white space, and the girl wakes. She follows them and ends up in another dimension. At first, she appears to be sprouting from the ground through a black hole against the spread’s white expanse; but her beaded braids stand up on end, defying gravity — and providing a signal to readers to flip the book over. She follows her cat through another portal (and another and another), each time prompting reorientation of the book; after encountering her own double, she and her cat finally make it back home. A subtle visual punch line at book’s end, when girl and cat have returned to bed, will reward careful viewers with a laugh and a prompt to go back through the book to reassess characters’ roles and motives.

From the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Megan Dowd Lambert
Megan Dowd Lambert

Megan Dowd Lambert is an instructor at Simmons University’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. For nearly ten years she also worked in the education department of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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