Zoom by Istvan Banyai

Summary: From Booklist:Grades 3-8. Beginning with a close-up of a rooster's comb, each picture zooms out to give a more distant perspective; for example, the "camera" zooms out to show increasingly distant figures of children watching the rooster. Then, a large hand appears, showing that the scene was not depicting a real farm, but a toy farm set. But zoom out a few more times, and the scene reveals that the picture of the girl playing with the farm set is really on the magazine held by a boy, who's sleeping in a chair, which is by a pool, which is on an ocean liner, which is out at sea--no, wait--that picture is on a cruise-line poster on the side of a city bus, but that picture is on a television screen in the Arizona desert . . . and so on until the earth is shown from above, growing smaller with each turn of the page. The final scene is one white dot on a black page. Clear-cut paintings outlined in ink appear on each right-hand page; the left-hand pages are black. Not a story, but an "idea" book, it makes the viewer ask, "What am I really seeing here?" This clever picture book could be intriguing..., depending on the viewer's frame of mind, but children will find it worth a look. Once, anyway. Carolyn Phelan

Sequel Information: Re-Zoom
Summary: From Publishers Weekly:Re-Zoom resumes, or more accurately, reprises, the layout and nothing-is-as-it-seems perspective of last season's Zoom. Featuring detailed drawings backpainted on animation cels, this text-free volume opens with a red-on-blue cave painting that, with the turn of a page, becomes a detail on a wristwatch. The next spread reveals that the watch belongs to a young man doing a rubbing of carved hieroglyphs... and so on. To surprise his audience, which may already expect the sequence of pictures to expand to infinity, as in Zoom, Banyai toys not only with spatial relations but with time and with cultural referents: people in 19th-century garb, admiring an image of Napoleon, turn out to be on a movie set; a woman in traditional Japanese dress sports a yellow Walkman. There are nods to the arts as well. A black-and-white Alfred Hitchcock and a blue bodhisattva sit astride a thundering elephant, and a dejected-looking Picasso rides the New York City subway. The finale-which leaves readers in a subway tunnel as the train's red taillights recede-may not be as mindbending as Zoom's outer-space flight, but is nonetheless a clever solution. All ages. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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