Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Undercover - One of these things is Almost like the Others" by Bastien Contraire (Phaidon)

The latent graphic designer in me always looks for interesting designs and illustrations in children's books that really 'push' the expected model...
For years there's been a (in my opinion misguided) notion that children demand full colour illustrations that 'look like what they oughta' and aren't open to designs or formats that playfully suggest otherwise.

Of course, we all know that's complete hogwash. Children have an almost limitless imagination and can readily accept books like "Undercover" by Bastien Contraire, embracing them with open arms and open minds.

If reading the sub-heading of this book, you had a certain Sesame Street song buzzing around in your head, thank god  because I thought I was the only one. I had to dive onto YouTube to try and explain to Charlotte what I meant and it didn't take long to find a peach of a clip...


The premise of "Undercover" is to play a more visual version of the same game, and the fun for children is to see how quickly they can find the odd one out...

Can you tell which one it is?
I must admit, this book took me by surprise in the most awesome way. I expected Charlotte to be pretty unimpressed with something that's more suited to younger children but thanks to some seriously impressive illustrations and a fun design, it's more challenging than you might think...!

Most of these things are lovely to lick. One isn't (unless you're, well, a bit weird!)
Using minimalist colours and screenprinting methods, Bastien's book spins this idea across 64 pages of fun.

A really lovely little surprise this book. "Undercover" is released on 12th September 2016, published by Phaidon (kindly supplied for review).

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