With the same high spirits and elemental simplicity that lights up his One Spotted Giraffe (2012), Horácek pairs up smiling animals to show contrasts in size, shape or behavior.
Floating on white or variegated monochrome backgrounds, the 20 creatures are all actual cutouts or images of cutouts, depicted with informal pen and brush strokes and a keen eye for natural detail and coloration. The animals alternate between posing on a flat page and hiding behind big gatefold flaps or foldouts. The latter set, like the “LOUD LION” roaring at a “quiet rabbit” and the “bouncy kangaroo” leaping away from a “STILL SLOTH,” shift or rise as the flap is opened. (The labels, which are the only text, vary in size and typography.) Thanks to the large trim size, the “TALL GIRAFFE” positively towers over a “short dog,” and the humongous elephant revealed at the end (opposite a “small ladybug”) is sure to draw delighted “whoa”s from young viewers as its multicreased portrait opens out. This is a less populous but far sturdier alternative to Robert Crowther’s Opposites (2nd edition, 2005).
An elegant exploration of an ever-popular subject. (Informational pop-up. 3-5)