January Picture Book Review

Palazzo Inverso

This month’s pick is “Palazzo Inverso” written and illustrated by D.B. Johnson.

Mauk, a young apprentice spends every day the same—awaking to the ring of a jangling bell; his boots on the ceiling and once again late for the Master. But this morning as Mauk paddles across the lake to the Palazzo, something seems strange…

What is different? Mauk wonders as enters the Palazzo. He runs from room to room through the palace and soon discovers everything in the Palazzo is all mixed up.

Bricklayers are spilling bricks on the ceiling, workers are walking on their hands down the stairs, and the Master’s Mistress is standing on the ceiling shouting at the Master for tracking mud on the wall. Even the water fountain is falling up instead of down. The tower is downside up! And the Master is furious at Mauk.

Mauk reminds the Master that he is ONLY allowed to sharpen the pencils…so how could it possibly be his fault? EXPECT…when the Master wasn’t looking or when he was napping, Mauk would turn the drawing just a tiny bit…little by little, day by day until the Palazzo drawing was upside down.

When Mauk realizes what he has done, he takes off. The Master, the Mistress, and the workers run in circles trying to catch him. But no one could. Only, Mauk knows every inch of the upside-down Palazzo. After a whirlwind chase, the others discover the humor and the beauty in Mauk’s Pallazzo Inverso…even the Master.

D.B. Johnson’s creation of Palazzo Inverso is nothing short of pure genius in the world of children’s literature. His whimsical story of a mischievous boy’s mistake allows him to escape from adults by running…on the ceiling and walls!

Just as the Palazzo Inverso is upside down, the actual book will have the reader reading from front to back then upside down, back to front. As an added bonus, reader’s can flip the book upside down on any page to discover a whole new storyline allowing an endless supply of bedtime stories.

Inspired by the master of optical illusions—M.C. Escher, D.B. Johnson creates chaotic yet serene illustrations. Readers will get lost inside the story as they discover the pictures make sense right side up AND upside down.

4 thoughts on “January Picture Book Review

    • Perfect! You will love it. My librarian at my local library pointed it out to me, I was so amazed. Be sure to try it out. It truly is remarkable how no matter where in the book you flip it the story continues. Pure genius!

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