'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 4 November 2016

Review: Undercover

Subtitled One of These Things is not Like the Others, this is a clever play on the good old 'odd one out' game.

Using a tri-colour palette of green, pink and brown (with the brown being an overlap colour from the pink and green) this is a beautiful book stylistically.

Each double page spread showcases a series of simple images to a theme--for example, a succession of leaves. One item, though, is not a leaf--in this case, it's a butterfly that mimics the shape of so many leaves.

Another page features a fruit display, with the odd-image-out a soccer ball. Another shows a series of vehiles with the odd-one-out being a person actually walking.

In this way, sometimes the odd image relates to the shape of the other images, and sometimes it relates to them in a way that's subtly suggestive (perhaps we should stop taking buses, trains and cars, and just walk!). It's most certainly a book that should be celebrated as much for its art as it is for its interactive capabilities.

It's so interesting that I so often found it difficult to locate the odd-item-out. This is due in part to the colour palette and in part to the cleverness of each spread. I can just see kids spending ages poring over these pages, searching for the odd-one-out--and what fun it would be to read this book in a group setting--and see who can spot if first.

Beautiful, clever, fun. A scrumptious visual hunt on stylised steroids.

Title: Undercover
Author/Illustrator: Bastien Contraire
Publisher: Phaidon, $29.95
Publication Date: 19 September 2016
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780714872506
For ages: 2 - 6
Type: Picture Book, More Than An Activity Book

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