Undercover: One of These Things Is Almost Like the Others

Bastien Contraire. Phaidon, $18.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7148-7250-6
In a sleekly designed and cleverly imagined book, French graphic designer Contraire assembles collections of roughly a dozen insects, vehicles, animals, clothing, sporting goods, and more, printed in contrasting shades of kelly green and fuchsia that give the spreads the flat, grainy look of vintage posters. On close examination, readers can spot a playful imposter among each set of images: an ice cream cone infiltrates a grouping of tools (yet is equally made for holding in one’s hand); a pinwheel stands among trees, its handle mimicking their trunks; and a turtle’s shell is easily mistaken for a cloche hat when it’s surrounded by a fez, top hat, ball cap, and other headgear. Subtle humor combines with impeccable design as Contraire invites readers to consider perception, classification, and form. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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