Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Oldie but Goodie: ROUND TRIP by Ann Jonas

Happy Autumn, readers! 

To recognize literary blasts from the past, I am running an "Oldie But Goodie" series to recognize memorable books I read that were published back in the day. 

"I find myself drawn more and more often to designing books that involve some sort of visual play. It seems like a wonderful opportunity to encourage children to look at familiar things in different ways while offering the appeal of a game or a puzzle." - Ann Jonas

Someone at my school read Ann Jonas's picture book ROUND TRIP (Greenwillow) to me when I was a child. My son told me that his teacher read this book to him in kindergarten. Published in 1983, ROUND TRIP is an example of how a good book stands the test of time across generations.

ROUND TRIP is a story told in the first-person narrative about the narrator and companion(s) leaving home early in the morning. They journey past the town, a small farm, fields of wheat...and end up in the city. In the city, they ride a subway, see a movie, and then turn around. Now the book is flipped upside down so readers can view the journey back home...dining at a restaurant, picking up the car, leaving the city...and returning home.

The illustrations show one thing when the book is read one way, and when it's upside down, the images depict something else. Fields of wheat become rain when the book is turned upside down. Marshy inlets now, fireworks later. The black and white illustrations in the book are simple yet complex. I could only imagine the deliberation and planning that went into each page in order to create the convincing perspectives.

If we look at the situations we face in our own lives, what different scenes would we see if we turn these pictures upside down?


John Wiswell said...

That's a brilliant idea book idea! I'll need to see if my library has a copy.

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