One night, as a girl sleeps in her bed, the red-collared cat on her blanket spies a toy mouse on the floor. Through a portal in the wall arrives a blue-collared cat, which makes off with the mouse back through the hatch. The red-collared cat follows the other cat through the portal. The girl, who has awoken and taken all this in, can't be expected to stay put, can she?
That's when things get weird--for the reader. (The girl and cat remain unruffled throughout their adventure.) After the girl follows her cat through the portal, she appears with her head sticking out of a hole in what looks like the floor, yet her braids point skyward. Turning the page and rotating the book 180 degrees solves the gravity-defying hair problem: now her head is poking out from a hole in the ceiling. From this vantage point, she observes her cat entering a portal in the wall. After she shinnies down some red fabric (it looks an awful lot like the blanket on her bed), she trails her cat through the portal. Girl and cat then proceed through a surreal obstacle course, which includes a ball pit slide, a rainbow-colored conveyor belt and a free-floating play space.
With its loop-the-loop perspective and call for interactivity, Another will remind readers of Press Here, and the girl's unblinking entrée into another dimension calls to mind Harold and the Purple Crayon. But this isn't to attribute anything other than full creative authorship to Christian Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street). Robinson makes this wholly original wordless fantasy utterly coherent thanks to clutter-free, digitally tweaked paint-and-collage art that pointedly doesn't hide its real-world seams (brushstrokes, crumpled paper). Most readers will gladly surrender to this mind-bending romp. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author