Susan Hood (text), Jay Fleck (illus.), Double Take!: a new look at opposites, Walker Books Australia, 1 June 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781406377293
This is a concept book about opposites, with a difference. In addition to learning about opposites, children 3+ will discover that things are not always as they seem. It sometimes depends on your perspective.
The start of the book features the three main characters – a boy, a cute black cat and a big, blue elephant – in simple comparisons, such as asleep and awake, and in and out. From there, however, things get more complicated:
Who knows what’s BIG unless there’s SMALL? Does SHORT mean a thing except next to TALL?
These relative comparisons depend on your point of view. A character seems tall when standing next to someone short, but what about when an even taller character takes to the stage? Complicating factors such as this force readers to do a double take and, true to the title, consider the topic of opposites in a new way.
Brief text featuring occasional rhyme makes for a fun read. The retro style illustrations, reminiscent of 1960s cartoons, use a simple palette of just a handful of colours. Together, the words and pictures succeed at making accessible to young readers what could be quite a complex topic.
This is a fun yet thought-provoking book to engage and challenge young minds.
Reviewed by Julie Murphy