Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Palazzo Inverso

D.B. Johnson, author of the popular "Henry" series, returns with an entirely new take on children's literature!

Johnson, D.B.
Palazzo Inverso.
May 2010.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Inspired by the impossible buildings of M.C. Escher, D.B. Johnson tackles the task of introducing children to blueprints and the idea of architecture. Mauk's master is building a Palazzo, a grand building of architectural ambition in Italy. As the servant, Mauk's job is to sharpen the pencils so that his master is sure to create the most precise blueprints of his palazzo. How much trouble could Mauk possibly get into when sharpening pencils? However, Mauk decides to inspect his master's drawings, and in doing so, turns the blueprints around and around, eventually confusing the master as to top and bottom, resulting in the builders creating a "palazzo inverso," or an inverse building - a topsy-turvy world, where painters hang upside down, people walk on ceilings, and workers fall up the stairs!

This is an incredibly uniquely-written book! Coupled with illustrations that virtually mimic the works of M.C. Escher, D.B. Johnson takes the concept of a Palazzo Inverso one step further, having readers go as far as to turn the book upside down to continue the reading, allowing readers to actually grasp the idea of what the inverso does to the architectural blueprints! Very creative!

Learning/Reading Activity:

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