Topsy Turvy World: surreal kids' picture book

TOPSY TURVY WORLD is one of the new titles from Flying Eye, the kids' imprint of London's wonderful NoBrow publishing. Like the rest of the line (recently reviewed titles include Welcome to Your Awesome Robot, Monsters and Legends and Akissi), Topsy Turvy World is brilliantly conceived, beautifully executed, and not quite like anything else in kids' publishing today.

Topsy Turvy World is a wordless collection of surreal paintings presented as two-page spreads. Though there's no story per se, the paintings do progress from the merely whimsical to the outright bizarre. The artist, Atak (a pseudonym for the German illustrator Hans-Georg Barber) manages to make things weirder and weirder without even hinting at horror, which is a great trick and makes this a perfect picture book for small kids like my daughter, who experienced unvarnished delight as we snuggled up at bedtime, working our way through all the strange and funny situations depicted on each page (the final spread is a real crescendo!).

Topsy Turvy World is already out in the UK, and will hit the USA on June 11 (you can pre-order it now). The nice folks at Flying Eye were kind enough to supply some samples to go with this review -- check them out below the jump!


Topsy Turvy World [Amazon UK]



  1. Actually, this trope — the world turned upside-down — has been around for centuries. It never gets old.

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