Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Kids
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
by Remy Charlip and Jerry Joyner
Thirteen is no ordinary picture book. It is a book of visual and conceptual revolutions, metamorphoses, and narratives that swallow their own tails. In thirteen illustrated stories, plus “a preview of coming attractions,” nothing less than the birth of the world, its duration, death, and rebirth occurs in thirteen arresting and evolving tableaus, involving a sinking ship, a play, a leaf and caterpillar, a card trick, swans, a worm, Cinderella, the alphabet, paper magic, pyramids, a getting-thin-and-gettingfat- again dance, the fall and rise of civilization, and a countdown. This is not a book you read from beginning to end so much as one you enter into and are absorbed and transformed by, like the thirteen tableaus themselves.
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remy charlip, jerry joyner
Fortunately, Remy Charlip and Jerry Joyner's classic book Thirteen is finally back in print! Thirteen stories, thirteen spreads, endless surprises. One of my own personal childhood favorites, Thirteen is a love letter to book-making, a valentine to the art of the page-turn, an experimental vision of what picture books can do. It's a treasure chest of ideas, wit, suspense, surprise and joy. Even if you've been everywhere, and seen everything, you've never experienced anything quite like this before!
—Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Absolute visual magic...Charlip and Joyner have a winner here.
—Milton Glaser, The New York Times
This is the sort of picture book that a person might leaf through quickly and dismissively and then, caught by a stray curiosity, begin to study, flipping a page back and forth to see how the images morph and evolve and then turning forward (and back again) with dawning fascination. Mesmerizing and sophisticated, the book is a small visual miracle of small visual miracles.
—The Wall Street Journal
A sinking ship in a bottle, a card trick, and a riff on "Cinderella" are among the 13 picture stories that play out separately but simultaneously in Thirteen...Charlip and Joyner pay homage to—and exemplify—the art of the page turn.
Charlip and Joyner’s pioneering picture book defied—and still defies—simple description or categorization, presaging books such as David Macaulay’s Black and White and other structurally experimental picture books.
—The Horn Book
Thirteen is a book which has meant—continues to mean—a great deal to me. It has informed my choreographic and theatrical work and is always a reminder to me that playfulness and benevolence are essential in creating. As a child, Thirteen—without my knowing it—taught me that a story could be experienced up and down, diagonally, here and there, not merely left to right. I loved that a single idea could be expressed through multiple vocabularies. Here is what I learned: decay and rebirth are beautiful, sad, surprising, funny, weird, true. Here is also what I learned: there are many ways.
—John Heginbotham, founder of Dance Heginbotham
Few books can be called unique, but Thirteen deserves the tribute...The
unusual format will inspire all ages to compare objects, watch the changing reflection, and find new visual experiences.
A happy collaboration of two gifted author-illustrators has resulted in an unusual, imaginative book.... There is a wealth of surprises in this welcome contribution to children’s books.
Picture a thirteen-ring circus—or thirteen TV sets heaped together, each tuned to a different channel...cleverly conceived and beautifully executed.
Thirteen is a book unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It expands the whole concept of what a book can be.
—David McCollough, Book-of-the-Month Club News
Ingeniously put together, it’s a lovely combination of eloquent design and childhood fun.... This book is all kinds of excellent.
—Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves (blog)
A long collaboration with Jerry Joyner resulted in Thirteen, Charlip’s most intriguing, ingenious, and complex work.... Brilliant in concept and form, Thirteen further establishes Charlip’s dramatic propensity to craft picture books that distinctively dance alone.
—The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators