A Long Way Away: A Two-Way Story
A Long Way Away: A Two-Way Story
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Annotation: Start from one end and journey from outer space down to the sea; start from the other end and journey from deep in the sea out to a distant planet.
Catalog Number: #5395299
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 40
Availability: Indefinitely Out of Stock
ISBN: 0-316-22196-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-22196-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2012028757
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
In this novelty picture book that can be read both front to back and vice versa, a happy alien/squid (depending on where you begin) travels down/up each page on a voyage from deep space to deep waters, with a warm family embrace on one end and tranquil sleep on the other. The minimal text offers just a few words per page, and typical page spreads along the way can read "zooming / around / over / under" and offer fun path lines for kids to trace, or forced rhyming place settings like "good afternoon / a lagoon." In all, it's a bit of a lark that would be easily forgettable if it weren't for Viva's ace artwork. His bold graphic designs are kitschy clean, weirdly classy, and inviting all at once, drenched in black and blue and shot through with noodles of zippy yellow that highlight the alien/squid's travels. Though there isn't much to linger over here, children will have a blast yo-yoing endlessly back and forth through the pages of this light mind-bender.
Horn Book
One little alien (resembling a turnip with tentacles) leaves his home in space, finally ending up at the bottom of the ocean. A page turn reveals a large yellow arrow pointing up--and a return journey, words and cadence backtracking through the book until our alien is greeted by his family once again. The eye never tires of marveling at this back-and-forth masterpiece.
Publishers Weekly
Viva-s Along a Long Road featured a bicycle trip that wound through the book from left to right. With its matte paper and silkscreen-like images, his sophomore effort shares the stylish look of its predecessor, but delivers a more ambitious story. The book is meant to be read vertically, and the journey proceeds from top to bottom and back again; Viva-s telegraphic writing ensures the story works just as well in reverse. On the top page, a happy alien family gathers (they look like space octopuses, with antennae and a fringe of tentacles). Their alien child starts a downward slide along a yellow path past celestial bodies (and a shoe), through the Earth-s atmosphere, past a whale and school of dapper fish, and into the blackest ocean depths. -Deep asleep,- the final page reads, as the alien lodges on an underwater cliff. The return trip shows the creature rising up through the ocean and back through deep space (-Under/ Over/ Around/ Zooming-) before being reunited with his family: -A home/ A hug.- Intelligently conceived and handsomely executed, it-s a potential classic. Ages 3-6. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Apr.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2&12; This innovative picture book is designed to be read vertically from the top down as well as from the bottom up. Starting one way, the story follows an octopuslike alien as he swooshes down from space. A yellow wiggly line traces his journey past assorted sights like spaceships and a parachuting man, down into the depths of the ocean where he falls asleep. Read from the other direction, the story starts on the seabed and follows the creature up into space and into the waiting arms of his family. The spare, poetic text works perfectly in both directions. As in Viva's Along a Long Road (Little, Brown, 2011), the illustrations were created as a continuous 26-foot-long piece of art using Adobe Illustrator. The striking graphic design features a limited palette of yellow, black, blue, red and white. This ingenious book invites many repeat readings.&12; Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Cleverly designed and perfectly executed, this dynamic two-way story across space, land and sea offers multidimensional adventure and possibilities. Begin on one side, and it's a journey down, away from the familiar into the deep. A warm embrace greets readers before a cephalopodlike alien descends, weaving past planets and stars on its topsy-turvy trajectory toward Earth. The appealing creature zooms by planes and towns, sea life and subs, before reaching the deep underwater world to sleep. Begin on the other side, and the alien rises from slumber, its trajectory upward toward heart and home. The illustrations recall Matisse, with their simulation of paper cut-outs, celestial quality and use of a limited four-color palette, which Viva proves can still create infinite possibilities. J. Otto Seibold and Gary Baseman also come to mind, for the work's graphic nature and loose, organic stylizations. But Viva is his own master, as he uses the constraints of the two-way format to great effect. Readers will be taken on a cosmic odyssey, while encouraged to experience a book in multiple ways--to think of a story as an interpretation, not an edict. Meticulously designed, from its art direction to the print and finish on the pages, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking work. (Picture book. 3-6)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal Starred Review (Mon Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2013)
ALA Booklist
Horn Book (Thu Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2013)
ILA Children's Choice Award
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2
Guided Reading Level: I
Fountas & Pinnell: I


In the first reading experience of its kind, blast off on a journey through twenty-six feet of continuous vertical art, which reads beautifully no matter which cover you start from. Begin at one end, and you're on the ocean floor; follow a creature along a bright yellow trail up into deep space to his alien family's embrace. Or, start from the other end and follow an alien floating down into the depths of the ocean to rest.


Whether journeying home or heading to bed, enjoy a satisfying and surprising trip from rising star Frank Viva.


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