In Stores June 13!


A New Look at Opposites

Illustrated by Jay Fleck

Candlewick Studio

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7291-1

Do you know opposites, yes or no? On. Off. Asleep. Awake. Opposites are a piece of cake...right? Not so fast! Time for a quick double take. Who knows what is BIG unless there is SMALL? Does SHORT mean a thing except next to TALL? What is ABOVE and what is BELOW? The answer depends on who wants to know! DOUBLE TAKE leads readers on a topsy-turvy fun-house journey into the concept of opposites and takes it to the next level—with detours into relative terms and points of view (with a dollop of yin and yang for good measure).


A young boy, a black cat, and a blue elephant creatively demonstrate the concept of opposites. While standing on a street corner, the trio starts with some basic opposites, demonstrating yes versus nostop versus goleft versus right, and open versus closed. The boy’s wagon and a hammock help them show in versus out and asleep versus awake. They explain that contrasting items may be dependent on each other—there is no short without tall. The relativeness of opposites is demonstrated with examples like weak (the boy) versus strong (the elephant), reexamined when a whale shows up, making the elephant look weak in comparison. The brief rhyming text sets a playful tone, which is heightened by the cartoon-style digital illustrations. The pages feature uncluttered and alluring venues in a limited assortment of soft colors, populated mostly with appealing animals that help the trio demonstrate the various concepts. While some notions may be confusing for younger ones, the simplicity and humorous touches make this engaging, useful, and fun—a winning combination. — Randall Enos



A white child, a black cat, and a friendly blue elephant give a fresh new twist to the concept of opposites. Humorous vignettes in a flat, limited color palette show the elephant “IN” the cart and falling “OUT!” of the cart; “ASLEEP” in the hammock, then suddenly “AWAKE!” when a balloon bursts; sitting with boy and cat during the color-saturated day, and, in a mirror image, their black-and-white silhouette at night. Type placement and illustrations are carefully coordinated to demonstrate relative points of view: a plane in the sky can appear to be below a car on a hill; the hare is only “FAST” in comparison with the tortoise, which is “S L O W .” The elephant appears to be the strongest in the picture—until readers realize it is standing on an enormous whale. Readers are encouraged not to take things at first glance: an abstract composition of colored circles turns into a huge painting of a butterfly when viewed from a distance. “What is ABOVE / and what is BELOW?”—it all depends on one’s perspective. “Turn things around! Give them a twist. / FIND a new view / that you might have MISSED!” The elephant and the child in a boat turn to face the land and see a beautiful urban landscape lit by the setting sun. Ideal for the thoughtful, deliberative child. (Picture book. 3-5)