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Palazzo Inverso
Johnson, D. B. 1944-
Easy Picture Book JOHNSON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

M.C. Escher's grayscale tessellations and stairways-to-nowhere set the stage for this inspired adventure by Johnson (the Henry series). An architect's apprentice named Mauk (Escher's nickname) prepares for another day with "the Master," designing a grand palazzo. He jogs through courtyards, passing bricklayers "spilling bricks on the ceiling" and a fountain that is "falling up." Every surface is inside-out and upside-down, and mischievous Mauk is to blame: even though his only task is to sharpen pencils, he "might have turned the drawing around just a tiny bit" while the architect napped. Johnson's book design gives pause at first, with dark text running along the foot of each spread and pale text running upside-down along the top. This arrangement becomes clear on the last page, when the text crawls up the margin and the book flips to continue the circular story. The written tale, of Mauk defying gravity to evade punishment, unifies the perspective-busting illustrations, which acquire new meanings on the inverted run-through. Johnson's optical illusions salute Escher and establish a clever slapstick sequence. If the written narrative is flat, Johnson's visual game provides dizzying thrills. Ages 3-7. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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