I had meant to post more regularly during the comment challenge but first my internet, and then my computer died. But now, I am back in business and shall do my best to keep up.
It's tempting to place Jeannie Baker's Mirror into the familiar category of "country v. city" book. However, it is much more than that. First of all, there is no annoying message that "my home is best" and secondly, there are no mice.
Baker illustrates two parallel worlds: urban Sydney Australia and rural Morocco's Valley of the Roses. She cleverly structures the book to open from the center so that we may see these worlds simultaneously. I like how this format is a means of uniting separate worlds. I could insert a lot of philosophy mumbo-jumbo here about the coming together of cultures, understanding differences, one planet=one people, etc., etc., but you get the idea.
Side by side: urban on left, rural on the right, we follow the two families through a day of, viewing the differences between commutes, market places, and meals. The purchase of a rug unites them as does the twist at the end in which the supposedly high-tech urban society gathers around a low-tech map and the supposedly low tech family enjoys connecting to the world through the Internet.
I think this is a brilliant book and Baker's cut paper 3-dimensional collages are as outstanding here as they were in Home. This is a wordless book and you need to take some time to pour over and study the details in each double page spread, comparing and contrasting the ways of life. In the end note, Baker reveals some of her collage-making secrets -- she has a lot of patience!
Read my review for her book, Home.
Visit the author's website.
Read about the book in the NY Times.
Big Kid says: I like the ending.
Little Kid says: I see lots of buses.