This new opposite concept book is a clever feat of paper engineering.
Combining elements of a pop-up book with pull tabs, this offering displays evidence of thinking outside the box. Reinforcing familiar antonym pairs while introducing new ones, the 18 opposites include beginning/end, ancient/modern, shallow/deep, empty/full, heavy/light, together/apart and near/far. On each page, pulling or sliding a labeled tab reveals the word’s opposite and changes the picture to match. Big/small is one of the standouts—the Earth is big, but a pull of the tab brings fingers closing down on it, suddenly small enough to fit in a hand. Another is tame/wild—the bush behind an orange cat conceals a ferocious tiger. Not all are as successful, however. Fast/slow utilizes the famous race between the tortoise and hare, but it is not clear which attribute belongs to which animal through the engineering. Past/present as represented by an arrow shot from a bow and a space shuttle may not effectively convey the meanings of these concepts to young readers. Bright colors and humorous details keep readers’ interest, as on the quiet/loud page, when a mouse causes an elephant to rear and trumpet loudly.
Though the book itself is fragile (the tabs are on the flimsy side), the original take on some of the pairings breathes new life into some often-clichéd opposites. (Pop-up. 2-5)