VIVA, Frank. A Long Way Away: A Two-Way Story. illus. by author. 40p. Little, Brown. Apr. 2013. Tr ISBN 978-0-316-22196-2.
PreS-Gr 2–This innovative picture book is designed to be read vertically from the top down as well as from the bottom up. Starting one way, the story follows an octopuslike alien as he swooshes down from space. A yellow wiggly line traces his journey past assorted sights like spaceships and a parachuting man, down into the depths of the ocean where he falls asleep. Read from the other direction, the story starts on the seabed and follows the creature up into space and into the waiting arms of his family. The spare, poetic text works perfectly in both directions. As in Viva’s Along a Long Road (Little, Brown, 2011), the illustrations were created as a continuous 26-foot-long piece of art using Adobe Illustrator. The striking graphic design features a limited palette of yellow, black, blue, red and white. This ingenious book invites many repeat readings.–Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada