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UP CLOSE by Gay Wegerif

UP CLOSE

By Gay Wegerif (Author) , Gay Wegerif (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: April 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0391-1
Publisher: abramsappleseed

Simple shapes in solid colors depict a variety of animals.

Following the same pattern throughout, Wegerif presents a close-up of an animal’s facial features, mostly using circles, rectangles and triangles. The next double-page spread shows the critter in its full, though highly minimal representation. The bunny, for example, is created with a large white rectangle, two circles for eyes, a semicircle for a (smiling) mouth and two smaller rectangles protruding from the top to represent the ears. The text, written in a clear, blocky type, encourages a guessing game: “UP CLOSE, I see your round snout. You are a...  / PIG!” While the mention of “snout” is helpful in that example, the only verbal clue readers are given for the frog is “wide mouth,” and “little nose” is the only hint for the monkey. While the images are simple and appealing from a design standpoint, they may be lost on the babies and toddlers still learning what these creatures are. Even though they appear on a suggestive background color, all of the animals are white, which may confuse little ones who identify these creatures partially by their hues.

While older children and design students may find this artist’s work compelling, it is too graphically sophisticated for the board-book set. (Board book. 2-4)