Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Visual jokes and trompe l'oeil overflow from newcomer Legge's watercolors as a girl visits her grandfather and notices that ``something seem[s] odd.'' There is no dearth of candidates, for in Grandpa's house nothing is ordinary. Grandpa pours his visitor tea from a watering can; a kangaroo washes dishes with water that streams from an elephant's trunk; the cat watches fish in what is either a TV show or an actual acquarium. Finally the girl puts her finger on the problem-furnishing perhaps the reader's greatest surprise, she points out merely that Grandpa's socks are mismatched. The laugh they share demonstrates that the girl is in fact well acquainted with the eccentricities of her grandfather's household (rather than being, as the reader has most likely been imagining, colossally unobservant). This clever turnaround gives dimension to an otherwise slim premise, providing a satisfying last laugh. Satisfying as well are the multiplicity of discoveries to be had in the illustrations, at once hyperrealistic in their style and surreal in their content. The visual possibilities can be plumbed for hours. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 3Here's a whole book filled with visual incongruities and jokes for children who like to discover ``What's wrong with this picture?'' A young girl's visit to her grandfather's house and her inability to discern just exactly what seems odd sets the stage for showing ever more ridiculous images from the foyer to the garden. In the dining room, the man blowing bubbles in Chardin's Soup Bubbles leans out of the frame to sip lemonade through a long straw. The child plants light ``bulbs'' in the flower ``bed'' (complete with pillow and headboard). The chair feet in the living room have shoelaces, and a flower blooms from the lily-pad rug. Reflections, shadows, skewed balance, and impossible perspectives are all employed in Legge's otherwise realistic watercolors. An adult might pick up allusions to Escher and Magritte, but the presentation is highly original. In the end, the girl figures out what is different: Grandpa's socks don't match! A sentence or two accompany each double-page scene. While the story is definitely secondary to the illustrations, this unusual book won't sit on the shelf. Multiple readings yield new surprises.Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ages 4-8. Wildly surrealistic details erupt from a cozy domestic scene in watercolor paintings about a girl's visit to her grandfather. Like Antony Browne's Changes (1991), the visual distortions capture what just might be true, what you glimpse for a moment in the shapes and shadows of the most ordinary room. But Legge's pictures are less menacing and much more detailed than Browne's. The more you look at the pictures, the more crazy they get. The cheery girl helps Grandpa mow the lawn in the living room and plant "bulbs" in the flower "bed," while the fountain spurts water from a statue's ear. The sofa pictured on the dust jacket has hands; in fact, sitting beneath the portrait of Grandpa, the sofa looks like his body. The clocks are all amazing, especially the grandfather clock with its swinging tennis-racket gong and digital face. The pictures have the bland, almost pastoral, appearance of a homes-and-gardens magazine advertisement. Then you look closely, and the visual puns and laconic absurdity are everywhere. Kids will have a lot of fun discovering the silliness that lurks beneath our everyday lives. ~--Hazel Rochman
Horn Book Review
A little girl realizes that something is odd at her grandfather's house but can't pinpoint what it is. His house is always crammed with such incongruities as shoes in the refrigerator, an armchair equipped with headlights, and a menagerie of wild animals. The joke is that it's simply his mismatched socks that are odd. Readers will enjoy pointing out the anomalies in the watercolors, which resemble Anthony Browne's art. From HORN BOOK 1995, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.