February 2, 2016

Elephants!

And we're back! I know it's been a horrifically long time since I've made any updates here, but that's all about to change.

This week we're starting with elephants and opposites. Has anyone else noticed how many opposites books there are that feature elephants? I suppose it makes sense--elephants are big so there's one given opposite right there. But there's something about elephant opposite books that opens up the illustrations and concept of opposites to a much larger, more sarcastic interpretation.


First up we have Pomelo's Opposites by Ramona Badescu and Benjamin Chaud. Unlike most opposite books, this one actually has a small (albeit totally unimportant) narrative. We meet tiny little Pomelo, an elephant who has a hard time telling the difference between things. Little Pomelo then becomes the subject of almost every illustration, showing readers everything from standard opposites like open and closed, near and far, and high and low, to slightly more far-fetched and creative opposites like kind and heartless, scene and characters, and everywhere and nowhere. Like most indie opposite books, this book doesn't back away from illustrating the less popular concepts like alive and dead and in and out (where we see Pomelo aptly eating and pooping), and concepts that even I'm not sure I understand like gastropods versus cucurbits (which I definitely had to research) and something versus whatever. It's a surprising read with a lot of fun little continuity bits to get you flipping back and forth through the book and even scratching your head at points. Have a look:



Elephant Elephant: A Book of Opposites by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais is an equally hilarious look at opposites that starts small



gets a little crazier...


and then just gets completely silly:


There's a sense of excitement as you flip through, almost like you're reading something you shouldn't be, and Gervais definitely gets creative.

Finally, we have Extreme Opposites by Max Dalton. Yes, this book doesn't only have elephants, but I think the elephant on the cover counts and the tone of the book definitely matches this week's theme of sarcastic opposites. Unlike the other two books, this one uses the font in addition to the drawing, making each spread one big interactive illustration. As I mentioned, it has that sarcastic tone to it, highlighting some unusual opposites.





That's it for this week! Look for all new posts every Tuesday!