Perhaps the magic of Tana Hoban's Look Again!
, a 1971 event, was not to be recaptured: that first glimpse, through a die-cut hole, of a fuzzy, starry, mysterious something; overleaf, the perfect head of a dandelion gone to seed; on the reverse, an intent black child, lips pursed, blowing. But if the drama of discovery is not to be replicated, one wonders what, here, prompted another go at the format altogether—for instead of a series of vivid, distinct triggering images (a zebra's stripes, the whorls of a snail shell, a peacock's fan of feathers), we have mostly less vivid, less distinct, guess-what allover textures and patterns—bread, a sponge, a grater—plus some less clear-cut equivalents of the first batch (e.g., a reptile's skin in lieu of the underside of a turtle) and just one bull's-eye: the spokes of an umbrella. What best conveys the difference, perhaps, is the head of the daisy here vs. the head of the sunflower in Look Again!—the same thing, but less arresting in magnification or in toto. (That's also true of the center of the apple here vs. the center of the pear before.) There's still some pleasure in the encounter, of course, but less variety, imagination, or resonance.
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