Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Beautiful Book: Picture This

Picture This by Allison Jay is probably my favorite baby picture book.  So many picture books are busy and wild, but this one is simple, restful, and gentle.  Each page features a single word.  The illustrations are whimsical, but not weird, and easily recognizable to children.  The antique, cracked veneer throughout the book gives it a fun feel too.

I liked it right away for those reasons, but after about a year of reading it I like it even more.

After a few times through, I realized that the pictures on each page are cleverly interwoven. For example, the vase falling off the window sill in the first frame is from the same set of dishes as you see on the shelf in the background in the next picture.
  Each picture anticipates the next in some way as well as having an assortment of items that appear on other pages.

The fish on this man's hat is the same one in the fish tank in the next picture, and the house in the fishbowl is the same model as the toy house in the playroom.  It's like a game of logical hide and seek. 
The subtle complexity that is fun to point out to older children, and also just makes reading a picture book over and over a little more enjoyable for the parent :-)


Mrs. Mordecai said...

I'm a big fan of Alison Jay! I'll have to check this book out.

Kristina Demoline said...

We borrowed this book from the library a couple weeks ago and just loved it.

Having Fun at Home said...

I've never seen anything else by Allison Jay.  What do you recommend of hers?

Mrs. Mordecai said...

For grown-ups/teens, she did the covers of Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl and its sequels. Swoon!

Other books I've read that are illustrated by her are  I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis (we love this one!); 1-2-3, A Child's First Counting Book; Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator; and Una and the Sea-Cloak by Malachy Doyle.

You can see a more comprehensive list here; she's done a lot of books!


Having Fun at Home said...

Thanks, I will look for some of these!

Emily Muller said...

We have her alphabet book, and it's one of our favorites.  I'm adding this one to the amazon wishlist...

Love and Lollipops said...

I love Allison Jay! We have her alphabet book, which I did a post on recently. It's beautiful and also has the interwoven theme, as you put it. I have many of her books on my wishlist!

Georgia :)