CM . . . . Volume XX Number 28 . . . . March 21, 2014
Numeralia, the latest picture book collaboration between Jorge Luján and Iso, features numbers or numerals from one to ten that have been supplemented by illustrations that are designed to enhance number identification as well as teach counting.
Luján and Isol work in tandem with one another, blending highly atypical concepts with illustrations that are guaranteed to broaden a child's imagination. For example, the number six is reflected as "6 for musketeers alongside their reflection". The reader sees minimal text on one side of the page, contrasted by a detailed drawing of the musketeers and their reflection in water on the opposite page. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs might be familiar to most individuals, but, in this particular framework, one can only marvel at the innovative way the characters are utilized.
Isol's illustrations are in evidence throughout the entire book, not just within the body, but also the front matter and end components as well. The pages at the end of the book are particularly noteworthy as they are filled with scattered numbers and figures in both pen and crayon that could have easily been created by either a child or adult. One thing that jogged my memory right away when looking at the illustrations was a teacher (some forty odd years ago) who insisted coloring should only be between the lines of a drawing. What a pleasure to see this hardly has to be the case as the use of color in varied tones and shading is extremely interesting.
Numeralia is the melding of artistic endeavor and creativity, conveying staid concepts with the right blend of quirkiness and originality.
Harriet Minuk is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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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.