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Booklist: Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Picture Books

Alborough, Jez. Watch Out! Big Bro’s Coming! (Candlewick, 1997)*
Terror spreads through the jungle as animals hear the news that rough, tough Big Bro is coming.

Banyai, Istvan. The Other Side (Chronicle, 2005)*
A wordless picture book that shows a series of familiar scenes through many twists in point of view, such as a boy looking down out of a jet’s window and another boy on the ground looking up at the same jet.

Banyai, Istvan. R E M : Rapid Eye Movement (Viking, 1997)
The toys surrounding a boy who has fallen asleep while playing in his room reappear in fantastical images as he dreams.

Banyai, Istvan. Re-Zoom (Viking, 1995)*
A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a boat which becomes the image on a magazine, which is held in a hand, which belongs to a boy, and so on.

Banyai, Istvan. Zoom (Viking, 1995)*
A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a girl playing with toys which is actually a picture on a magazine cover, which is part of a sign on a bus, and so on.

Barnett, Mac. Guess Again! (Simon & Schuster, 2009)
For each round of guessing, readers are presented with a page of illustrations opposite a rhyming quatrain. The unexpected conclusion of the verse’s final line is revealed on the next page.

Borando, Silvia. Near, Far (Candlewick, 2016)
Abstract, boldly contrasting graphic forms create a playful exercise in visual perception, showing up-close images that gradually back away on sequential pages to enable small children to guess what animals will be revealed.

Cohen, Caron Lee. Where’s the Fly? (Greenwillow, 1996)
Illustrations from increasingly distant perspectives locate a fly on a dog’s nose in a flower bed by a house in a yard on a corner in a town near a bay on the earth.

Cole, Henry. Big Bug (Little Simon, 2014)*
Beginning with a bug, various objects are revealed as being big and small in comparison with other objects on a farm under the big, big sky.

Fischer, Jeremie. Wild About Shapes (Flying Eye Books, 2015)
Acetate inserts printed with abstract shapes transform abstract screen prints into animals, while simultaneously introducing basic color theory.

Grahn, Geoffrey. What’s Going on in There? (Orchard, 2005)
Granville looks like an ordinary town, but a turn of the page reveals that the pizza cooks are actually building a dinosaur, and many other things are not as they appear.

Hutchins, Pat. Shrinking Mouse (Greenwillow,  1997)*
Four animal friends notice that the size of distant objects seems to change depending on the location and movement of the viewer.

Kulka, Joe. Wolf’s Coming! (Carolrhoda, 2007)
All of the animals in the forest go into hiding because the wolf is coming, but why they are hiding is the big surprise.

Noll, Sally. Watch Where You Go (Greenwillow, 1990)
A gray mouse’s journey through what appears to be the grass, rocks, and tree branches of a forest proves his mother’s adage that “Things are not always what they seem.”

Portis, Antoinette. Not a Box (HarperCollins, 2006)*
To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box.

Rex, Adam. Pssst! (Harcourt, 2007)*
The animals at the zoo have some unusual requests for a little girl who goes to visit.

Rinck, Maranke. I Feel a Foot! (Lemniscaat, 2008)*
Five animal friends, awakened by a strange noise, discover a creature in the dark that seems to be a giant-sized version of each of them.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Duck! Rabbit! (Chronicle, 2009)*
Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck.

Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk (Harper, 1947)
A continuously changing white shape silhouetted against a blue background challenges the reader to guess what the shape is.

Shealy, Dennis R. I’m a T. Rex! (Golden Books, 2010)
A small T. Rex dinosaur describes who he is and how he spends his day.

Stevens, Janet. The Great Fuzz Frenzy (Harcourt, 2005)*
When a tennis ball lands in a prairie dog town, the residents find that their newfound frenzy for fuzz creates a fiasco.

Testa, Fulvio. The Endless Journey (North-South, 2001)
The reader is asked to look at everyday objects in a different way.

Thomas, Jan. The Doghouse (Harcourt, 2008)*
Cow, Pig, Duck, and Mouse are afraid to retrieve their ball when it goes into the dog’s house, but when they do go in they are pleasantly surprised.

Tougas, Chris. Dojo Surprise (Owlkids, 2016)
Six little ninjas break into Dojo Daycare with a few tricks up their sleeves.

Wenzel, Brendan. They All Saw a Cat (Chronicle, 2016)
In simple, rhythmic prose and stylized pictures, a cat walks through the world, and all the other creatures see and acknowledge the cat.

Willems, Mo. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Balzer & Bray, 2012)*
Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. One day–for no particular reason–they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then–for no particular reason–they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl. Definitely not!

Willems, Mo. That is Not a Good Idea! (Balzer + Bray, 2013)
A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one’s inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.

Willems, Mo. Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005)
Losing all hope in his ability to scare people, which is sorely lacking, Leonardo, who is terrible at being a monster, discovers a nervous little boy who seems to be the perfect candidate for him to practice on.

Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice (Philomel, 1992)*
In this retelling of the Indian fable, seven blind mice discover different parts of an elephant and argue about its appearance.

*Asterisked books are available at the Middletown Library Service Center, Middletown, CT
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