Black? White! Day? Night!: A Book of Opposites

Overview

Having explored the alphabet (The Hidden Alphabet), colors (Lemons Are Not Red), and emotions (Walter Was Worried), Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns her extraordinary talents to opposites in this bright, colorful and imaginative book. Through a series of ingenious die-cut pages, the reader discovers things that are the opposite of what they seem: A black bat transformed into a white ghost, a sunny day that becomes a starry night. Posed as a series of 18 questions and answers, Black? White! Day? Night! is sure to be a ...

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Overview

Having explored the alphabet (The Hidden Alphabet), colors (Lemons Are Not Red), and emotions (Walter Was Worried), Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns her extraordinary talents to opposites in this bright, colorful and imaginative book. Through a series of ingenious die-cut pages, the reader discovers things that are the opposite of what they seem: A black bat transformed into a white ghost, a sunny day that becomes a starry night. Posed as a series of 18 questions and answers, Black? White! Day? Night! is sure to be a big success with small children everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Jabari Asim
Authors of illustrated books for very young readers confront a challenge that is more daunting than it may appear. To succeed, they must keep it simple—communicate instructive ideas in very basic language and pictures—without exhausting young readers' notoriously brief attention spans. Laura Vaccaro Seeger achieves that trick and then some in Black? White! Day? Night!, a smartly conceived, cleverly designed exploration of opposites and their meanings.
—The Washington Post
From The Critics
Things are not what they seem in this artful brainteaser. Above the picture of a bat is the seemingly obvious caption, "black?" Not so fast. Lift the flap and the black bat is revealed to be the smile of a "white!" ghost. Such surprises will delight your child, who will effortlessly learn antonym pairs, such as "simple/complicated" and "alike/different." The secret? Seeger's colorful, child-oriented examples: A white ("clean?") dog transforms into a mischievously "dirty!" one, his paws covered in spilled paint. (Ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
Like Seeger's Hidden Alphabet, this playful volume banks on uncertainty and surprise. Every page is a gatefold, constructed of heavy-duty paper and highlighting a pair of words. In each flap, a die-cut rectangle reveals just a portion of a complete image underneath, and thus a clue to a key word's opposite. The initial spread covers the four title words. In a glossy field labeled "black?," a silhouette of a bat appears in a white square; lift the flap, and the bat transforms into the smiling mouth of a "white!" ghost. On the next page, readers look out a window at blue sky, asking "day?" as a clock strikes nine; lift the flap, and the same nine o'clock appears on a starlit tower at "night!" Readers raise the page flaps as though lifting hinged mat boards away from framed prints; by exposing the concealed margins, they find each word's antonym. Seeger keeps her artwork blocky and colorful, focusing attention on the game and its logical design. She varies her die-cut shapes, so that a "narrow?" vertical line becomes a "wide!" horizontal bar, and five tiny rectangles showing identical blue diamonds ("alike?") open onto a field of blue and white snowflakes ("different!"). The question marks and exclamation points remind readers to keep inquiring, and even the endpapers are labeled "beginning " and "end" in this satisfying package. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
If you look up the definition of "concept book" in the dictionary, you will find "Laura Vaccaro Seeger." Well, maybe not but what you will find is a book where the concept is clear and well executed so that the young readers who encounter it will GET the concept. In still another amazing concept book reminiscent of The Hidden Alphabet, Seeger has made the concept of "opposite" clear and engaging. Using what children already know, she playfully juxtaposes these concepts (i.e., day and night) to elucidate the notion of "opposite." While young children will delight in examining each page, so will adults. Why should children have all the fun! 2006, Roaring Brook Press, Ages 3 to 7.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Clever compositions, a question/answer format, and sturdy die-cuts distinguish this title from many other concept books. Seeger employs flat, vibrant colors and bold contrasts between the framing page that lifts up and the design underneath. While some of the word pairs are familiar, the images are nevertheless surprising: a "black" bat turns out to be the upturned mouth of a "white" ghost. An "ordinary" sheep becomes "extraordinary" when discovered in a cloudy sky with flying pigs and a cow jumping over the moon. Blue diamonds that look very much "alike" are actually quite "different" when they are discovered inside unique snowflakes. Younger children will delight in the magical effect of the transformation, while those a little older will have fun anticipating and analyzing the process itself, propelled by the pattern in which each question yields the unexpected. The title's creative approach offers a variety of possible paths for connection. Books such as Lois Ehlert's Color Zoo (HarperCollins, 1989) or N. N. Charles's What Am I?: Looking through Shapes at Apples and Grapes (Scholastic, 1994) would extend the visual gymnastics for preschoolers, while titles such as Roni Schotter's The Boy Who Loved Words (Random, 2006) would continue adding to a school-aged child's store of language. Opposites attract and expand in this playful celebration.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Using the same format as her stunning Hidden Alphabet (2003), Seeger presents readers with another eye-catching concept book. Pictured in a die-cut square is a black bat against a white background: "black?" Lift the full-page flap to see a goofily grinning ghost, the bat transmogrified into its mouth: "white!" Some 17 oppositional pairs follow, some simple-"day? night!"-some significantly more complicated-"addition? subtraction!" and, well, "simple? complicated!" (This latter features the word "simple" in blocky letters that become twists and dead-ends in a massively complex maze.) The very best pairings feature pictures that become graphical elements in its opposite; thus, a flea ("tiny?") becomes an elephant's eye ("huge!"), and a frowny face ("sad?") becomes a smiling, freckled, snub-nosed face ("happy!"). With its mix of basic and more sophisticated contradictions, this volume will appeal to a relatively broad spectrum of ages, gently leading the youngest readers from the obvious to the more complex and rewarding older readers with its graphical cleverness. From beginning to end, another winner from Seeger. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596431850
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.35 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

An Emmy-award-winning artist and now an acclaimed author of three previous books Laura Vaccaro Seeger lives close to New York City with her husband, Chris, and their sons, Drew and Dylan, and their dog, Copper, the subject of her next book.

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