October 10, 2016


What Can I Be? by Ann Rand and Ingrid Fiksdahl King explores the power of imagination and the room for potential. It acts like a concept book, providing examples of common concepts--red, square, line--but places the story in exploring how the two "concepts" interact when combined. The "concepts" presented get more abstract as the book progresses, opening up the discussion to much more than what we see on the page.

We get a spread with two illustrated concepts and the pages that follow explore the possibilities of what those two concepts could be when combined. A circle, the color red: what can they be? We then flip the page to see spreads of possibilities, like an apple, a lollipop, or the sun behind a hilltop. The beauty lies in the fact that the illustrations are each different--not just in size, but medium and texture. Each illustration has its own mood to parallel the suggestion given in the text.

The mixed media illustrations heavily feature ink lines and solid blocks of color, overwhelming each page with the concepts presented. Each illustration feels fresh and unique to the text, and King uses the white space wisely to emphasize details in the illustrations. It makes for a startling and exciting page turn every time.

I'm itching to show more spreads, but I won't because this is a book worth checking out. It published from Princeton Architectural Press earlier this year!

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