CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 11 . . . .February 4, 2005
The husband and wife team of Tom Slaughter and Marthe Jocelyn have created another innovative concept book. Jocelyn's sweet rhyme contains playful opposites which are exploited to the fullest in a series of brilliant cut paper designs. Just like their previous picture book collaboration, One Some Many (Tundra, 2004), this is a masterful look at concepts done in an artful and visually striking manner. On the cover, Slaughter creates a tall giraffe from yellow and red cut papers with a short chick looking the other way underneath the belly of the giraffe - displaying three concepts at once! Slaughter's images contain the compositional balance and deceptive simplicity of Matisse's "gouache découpée masterpieces like the "Blue Nudes" series and "The Snail." The animal characters depicted in high key colours in Over Under are elegantly similar to Matisse. But Slaughter pays homage to picture book artists like Dick Bruna, Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert with his child appeal, clarity of form and incredible colour sense. Several of the pages have high contrast black and white images like a black dog on a white ground and the reverse which is reminiscent of Tana Hoban's board books Black on White and White on Black (Harper Collins, 1993). Babies will enjoy hearing the rhyme and focussing on the images, and the book can also be used as a "point and say" book with toddlers. Older preschoolers will enjoy naming everything in the book, and the pictures can easily be used for a variety of "I Spy" games.
Highly recommended for Toddler Story Times and all picture book collections.
Lorraine is a Winnipeg, MB, artist and writer who is particularly interested in the folk art of cut paper designs and cut paper letterforms.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.