Look Once, Look Twice

Overview

In this unique and playful picture book, the striking patterns found on animals, plants, and other natural forms are used to create each letter of the alphabet. Readers must guess what each pattern comes from. On the right-hand page is the clue: the letter. On the left-hand page is the answer. The clues can be as obvious as a zebra-striped z and a rainbow r, or as subtle and surprising as an m-shaped close-up of a macaw's wing. With vibrant, graphic cut-paper illustrations, Janet Marshall has created a vivid ...

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Overview

In this unique and playful picture book, the striking patterns found on animals, plants, and other natural forms are used to create each letter of the alphabet. Readers must guess what each pattern comes from. On the right-hand page is the clue: the letter. On the left-hand page is the answer. The clues can be as obvious as a zebra-striped z and a rainbow r, or as subtle and surprising as an m-shaped close-up of a macaw's wing. With vibrant, graphic cut-paper illustrations, Janet Marshall has created a vivid reminder that even the simplest things around us are worth a second look.

In this unique and playful picture book, the striking patterns found on animals, plants and other natural forms are used to create each letter of the alphabet. Readers must guess what each pattern comes from. The stunning, magnified view of nature encourages readers to Look Once, Look Twice. Full-color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The layout is crisp, with one lowercase letter on each brightly colored page. Turning the page reveals the complete object or creature and its name in clear black text." School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Declaring that "patterns are everywhere in the natural world," Marshall's My Camera at the Zoo abecedarian puzzler challenges readers to a game of visual identification. Against solid-color pages, a small portion of an object bird, animal, flower, etc. is glimpsed in the shape of the first letter of its name; turning the page, the entire subject is depicted and identified. Thus, a pastel-striped "r" is revealed as part of a rainbow; a red, black-spotted "l" is a ladybug; a black-and-white, wavy-striped "z" is what else? a zebra, etc. So far, so good. Difficulty arises, however, when certain subjects-either because of their unfamiliarity unicornfish, kingfisher or the artist's obfuscation or both-are nearly impossible to identify from the visual clue. Even the most astute observer would be hard pressed to spot a macaw from a yellow "m" marked with jagged green and blue striations. That these are painterly renditions instead of photographs increases the possibility of confusion; that the renderings are often dull weakens the volume as a whole. Worse, Marshall's work would appear to have outlived its attraction after a single viewing.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Declaring that ``patterns are everywhere in the natural world,'' Marshall's (My Camera at the Zoo) abecedarian puzzler challenges readers to a game of visual identification. Against solid-color pages, a small portion of an object (bird, animal, flower, etc.) is glimpsed in the shape of the first letter of its name; turning the page, the entire subject is depicted and identified. Thus, a pastel-striped ``r'' is revealed as part of a rainbow; a red, black-spotted ``l'' is a ladybug; a black-and-white, wavy-striped ``z'' is (what else?) a zebra, etc. So far, so good. Difficulty arises, however, when certain subjects-either because of their unfamiliarity (unicornfish, kingfisher) or the artist's obfuscation or both-are nearly impossible to identify from the visual clue. Even the most astute observer would be hard pressed to spot a macaw from a yellow ``m'' marked with jagged green and blue striations. That these are painterly renditions instead of photographs increases the possibility of confusion; that the renderings are often dull weakens the volume as a whole. Worse, Marshall's work would appear to have outlived its attraction after a single viewing. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This concept book combines letters of the alphabet with patterns from nature. Children are invited to look at the pattern, then think of something-an animal, a plant, a body of water, etc.-that starts with the featured letter. The layout is crisp, with one lowercase letter on each brightly colored page. Turning the page reveals the complete object or creature and its name in clear black text. The idea is similar to Tana Hoban's Look Again! (Macmillan, 1971). Artistically, the book is well done and inviting. Conceptually, however, it does have difficulties. Some of the selections are within a typical child's frame of reference; ``b'' has the familiar orange and black markings of a monarch butterfly, ``d'' is a Dalmation, ``l'' a ladybug, ``s'' a strawberry. Other items, such as kingfisher, macaw, narcissus, and unicornfish, would not normally roll off a youngster's tongue. By forcing the patterns into an alphabet format, Marshall has taken a good idea and made it unnecessarily complicated.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Stephanie Zvirin
In her latest, Marshall achieves the effect of a peekaboo book without ever putting cutting tool to page. Set in the center of a plain but brightly colored background on each recto page is an intriguingly patterned letter of the alphabet. A flip of the page reveals a word beginning with the showcased letter and presents a full picture of the object "A" for "asparagus"; "T" for "tiger", etc. that's the source of the pattern. It's a good guessing game for little ones, though a few of the words "unicornfish" and "kingfisher", for example will be well beyond their ken. Still, the rich colors and intriguing patterns in the beautifully produced book the pages are thick and literally shine with gorgeous colors will tantalize kids, who'll come away not only pleased by the mystery of the game, but also better attuned to the patterns in the world around them and more comfortable with their letters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395716441
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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