Review Blog

Mar 18 2015

Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui

cover image

Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781406357936
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. This book is quite a beautiful package of images, colours and ideas. The hardback copy resembles a box with parchment-like pages meeting edge to edge with the cover.
It is a wordless picture book showing examples of before and after images; situations and consequences of change. Simple images, in matt-finished, muted shades add to the book's appeal and originality. There is the real and the fantastical, along with the whimsical, with each single image or double-page spread being open to many interesting interpretations. Of particular note is the image of the cave painting of a bull with a real bull outside the cave. This is followed by a picture of an easel painting featuring a bull, with one in the fields in real view. Coffee beans on a tree move to a cup of coffee. There is a delightful sequence of an octopus to ink, then bird to feather, then feather to typewriter, then pigeon to letter.
Throughout this delightful book, there is potential for conversations and storytelling; certainly an interesting educational medium. Originally a French publication, this will be shared and enjoyed by readers of any age.
Julie Wells

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