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Abner & Ian Get Right-Side Up

illus. by Laura Park. 80p. Little, Brown. May 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316485869. POP
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PreS-Gr 1–In this silly interactive book, a duck and a prairie dog find themselves sideways on the page instead of on the ground. They start up a dialogue about their predicament and ask readers for a helping hand. After requesting assistance, they awkwardly draw things out to build up anticipation, but from there on, the pacing, silliness, and intensity quickly ramps up, for with each shake of the page, their positioning only gets wackier. Upside down, popping out of the seam, half on one page and half on the other, no matter how hard readers work, they can't seem to right themselves. Finally they decide to try something different. For the most part, Eggers's writing takes center stage, and while the text on individual pages is usually brief, it goes on for 80 pages, which is quite a bit longer than the average picture book. Because of the nature of the plot, Park's illustrations don't change much. However, the old-fashioned designs and muted colors pair well with the candid tone; it is this contrast between the aesthetics and the premise that causes so much amusement. Overall, the creators have come up with a child-friendly way to talk about disruption and calm.
VERDICT Even though this picture book is quite lengthy compared to others like it, the amusing, interactive story makes it worth the buy.

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