All kinds of animals are shown in varying settings to illustrate antonyms and contrasting concepts.
Flat illustrations that look digitally composed are shown on mostly white backgrounds, with just the descriptor in easy-to-read sans-serif type. The contrasting concepts are illustrated opposite each other on the spreads. Thus, the lower portion of a giraffe (from the neck up is off the page) is illustrated with the word “high” opposite a snake in the grass, which is “low”; a tangled spider’s web is shown with the word “messy” and the remade web on the opposite page with the word “tidy.” The animals are connected with their own visual logic, so distant African antelopes represent “far,” and a scary close-up of a tiger’s face illustrates “close.” The text is sometimes subtly angled or differently sized to represent a given concept but remains easily legible for a beginning reader. The titular concept, “alone/together,” visually illustrates how ants work independently and together to demolish a leaf. In spite of their extreme simplicity, Clayton Junior’s illustrations successfully convey in scale and color the concepts being illustrated, and each spread tells a story that a skillful adult could expand on when reading with a child. A few images may be hard to interpret, particularly the bats in “sleepy/awake.” The whole impression is somewhat bland and clinical, however.
Perhaps not a first choice in the competitive field of opposites books. (Picture book. 3-6)