What I Eat

Christopher Wormell, Author Dial Books $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2058-9
The subjects of Wormell's (An Alphabet of Animals) striking animal prints could be recognized from across a room-they are both distinctive and boldly defined. These paper-over-board concept books pair an animal on the left-hand page with, respectively, its characteristic food or home on the right. The single word on each page seems to echo the heavy black outlines of the hand-cut linoleum block prints. The animals are static, and rather somber: the seal, elephant and tortoise in What I Eat, for example, are uniformly neutral in tone. But once the eye adjusts to the subdued colors, Wormell's combinations become unexpectedly resonant, particularly in the landscapes of Where I Live. A knobbly frog faces a reflective lily pond in luminous shades of leaf green and violet; a sturdy hippo is encircled by a cascade of blue-green river, the patterns of color evoking its ridged sandy bottom. These austerely magnificent prints are not charming in the conventional nursery-room sense; they are far more ambitious. Ages 1-6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
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