Review Blog

Dec 08 2016

In focus: 101 close ups, cross sections and cutaways by Libby Walden

cover image

Little Tiger Press, 2016. ISBN 9781848575059
Twenty years ago one of the most popular series of books in my library featured the cutaway illustrations of Stephen Beisty as the children were fascinated by being able to look beneath the outside of things to see what lay concealed and how these things worked. In this fascinating book compiled by Libby Walden, ten illustrators have placed ten everyday subjects under the microscope to uncover what lies beneath their surface and produced 101 fascinating pictures that are familiar to children and which will fascinate them for hours.
Using the broad headings of Oceans, Home, Earth and Space, Landmarks, Nature, Everyday Objects, Buildings, Fruit and Vegetables, Animals and Transport, they can explore the workings of everything from a shark to the Statue of Liberty to the inside of a banana in close-ups, cross-sections and cutaways. They can even discover how their toilet works!
Even though the book nominally has 26 pages, each opens out to a double spread giving each topic six pages of fascinating information. On the exterior of the gatefold is an illustration of a number of objects and then by opening it, the interior of each object is exposed, a clever design technique that adds to the notion of peeking inside. Because the captions are brief and sometimes technical this is more suited to the independent reader who can use it as a starter to find out more, but nevertheless would still be good in the hands of an adult and child who is curious and just wants a simple explanation.
Another example of why and how we can keep our print collections vibrant and interesting. A perfect adjunct for those with a makerspace in the library.
Barbara Braxton

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