Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Round Trip by Ann Jonas
What happens when a designer decides to make picture books? What happens when she goes and gets creative with the illustrations? While remembered for many things, I’d say that this 1983 release is without a doubt the best known of creator Ann Jonas. You may remember it yourself. It’s the picture book where you read it one way and then turn it upside down and read it the other. It feels like a dare, and comes off as the number one book I had to produce when I worked as a children’s librarian. Countless adults would come up to me saying, “There was this book when I was a kid and it was black and white . . .” They literally didn’t have to say anything else after that. I have no doubt that this book blew little minds. It may not be the most plot forward of the picture books out there, but who the HECK cares?
Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, PlayerFM, or your preferred method of podcast selection.
I mention a couple books in the course of this podcast. If you like this one, please check out Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri or the works of Bruno Munari.
There’s no comma but it does look like someone is saying, “Round Trip, Ann Jonas” as the title. Ah, typography.
Some spreads that can be flipped upside down are a little more obvious than others. For example, this is a very judgey street sign. “Oh. You’re gonna drive like that? That’s . . . a choice.”
How was this art done? My best guess is stencils, but I am more than willing to be corrected. Anyone have the info for me?
Which of these flipped scenes is, to our mind, the most effective? Without a doubt it has to be the theater turned diner. Just . . . well done, Ann Jonas. WELL done!
Runner-up most successful? The bridges to telephone poles.
The least successful? The smoky factories. We’re having a hard time seeing them. But for the most part, this is the exception rather than the rule.
Betsy Recommends: The If Books Could Kill podcast
Kate Recommends: The morathanenough Instagram account
And finally, the spring book I referenced that I absolutely adored was, for the record, The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton. Check out our episode on it, if you have a chance.
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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