WHAT'S INSIDE? by Satoshi--Illus. Kitamura


Email this review


Kitamura's clever alphabet page-turner proceeds something like a film: one uninterrupted camera pan that meanders from city street to country lake, growing less realistic as it proceeds. The first spread shows scattered pieces and boxes of fruit with the letters ""a"" and ""b"" on two closed boxes on the right-hand page. On the second spread, those two boxes, now toward the left edge of the picture, are open to reveal apples and bananas--pictured inside the boxes and printed on the inner raised lids. Nearby, on the right, a garbage can marked ""c"" and ""d"" has come into view, and a further turn brings a scared cat (treed on a lamppost) and a fierce dog from the can. From there to ""z,"" Kitamura's ramshackle pictures become more cluttered, nutty, and surreal, with a tiger in a snow-covered graveyard yielding to a flying vampire bat with an umbrella, and with ""m"" and ""n"" on toothpaste tubes unfurling to depict morning (sunny blue sky) and star-studded night. Far too tricky for a first alphabet book, but too genuinely ingenious to pass up.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1985
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux