Book Review: The Opposite -- Tom MacRae
edited: Tuesday, February 06, 2007
By SARA WEBB QUEST
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, February 06, 2007
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This picture book involves an average boy named Nate whose day, from the moment he wakes, is anything but average ...
A most unusual creature called The Opposite is taunting Nate. At breakfast, he gently pours milk into his cereal bowl, but The Opposite happens to cause the milk to pour up instead of down, splashing on the ceiling. Then at school, while painting an elephant, The Opposite causes the paint to go everywhere but on Nate’s paper. The adults in the boy’s life (his parents and teacher) are frustrated by these mishaps, disbelieving his claim that the eerie, point-nosed creature is causing them. By book’s end, however, Nate starts thinking in ‘Opposite’ terms -- by saying the opposite of what he most desires!
Elena Odriozola’s creepy, Edward Gorey-like illustrations (though, unlike Gorey, hers are bright) blend supremely with Macrae’s troublesome tale. Readers won’t help but feel Nate’s tension while awaiting the critter’s next torment – and won’t help but applaud two clever end-twists devised by MacRae's hero.