Double Take!: a new look at opposites

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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

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