RAMSTEIN, Anne-Margot & Matthias Arégui Before After Walker, 2013 unpaged $27.95 ISBN 9781406357936 SCIS 1683395
Wordless, Before After is a unique book that provides an effective discussion-starter for children and their parents or teachers. It is not a book to be viewed in a hurry. The reader will require time and close attention to get into the mood of this chunky, hard-cover, pictures-only production. Flat, pop-art-type illustrations carry the intent of the illustrators to show the dichotomy of many before and after processes of a world in a continual state of flux. Seasons, weather events, building, art, harvest, knitting, nature, time passing, travel, day, night, chicken, egg…
It is hard to predict what age group would appreciate this book. It could be used as stimulus material for primary school children in a number of creative activities, including art, writing, or drama. Perhaps the most likely value is in quiet contemplation by someone willing to set aside an hour for some ‘slow’ time, pondering the graphic elements and letting their thoughts travel on.
reviewed by Julie Thorndyke