cover image Before & After

Before & After

Jean Jullien. Phaidon, $12.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7148-7408-1

Jullien follows This Is Not a Book with another deviously playful board book, this time looking at cause and effect. The opening scene, featuring a couple standing belly to bulging belly (she’s pregnant, he’s not), gives a good sense of the book’s irreverent sense of humor. Jullien establishes a steady rhythm in pages labeled “before” and “after” but isn’t afraid to break it: a foldout spread shows the “during” of a roller-coaster ride that began with calm anticipation and ended with shock for a father and his son. Though perhaps not as inspired as its predecessor, it’s still rewarding, thought-provoking, and quite funny. Ages 2–4. (Mar.)