A guessing game about opposites in a cleverly designed board book that epitomizes the maxim “show, don’t tell.”
The rather abstract concept of opposites is successfully demonstrated in Baruzzi’s whimsical, graphically flat cartoon illustrations. Older children will quickly learn the formula. The left-hand page of each spread poses a binary choice with the first option illustrated on the facing page. But pull the gatefolded page to the right, and it expands to a full 13-inch illustration of the second one. So a small blue truck is shown to be pulling a large blue-and-yellow excavator, one sheep is revealed to be part of a flock, closed window shutters open to a sunny view, etc. Opening each flap provides an “aha” moment, if not exactly a surprise. Most of the choices are obvious, though one might wonder why fish in an aquarium stay only in the hidden section and how a shirt came to be dirtied on only one side. Similarly, the thin pencil has no logical relationship to the wide bridge; the edges of the bridge just fold conveniently to create a yellow colored pencil. But these are small matters. With the text limited to just one three-word question (“Short or long?”) per spread, young readers are allowed to use their own words to describe what pulling the flap reveals.
This deceptively simple concept book is the opposite of confusing. (Board book. 1-3)