________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 1. . . .September 4, 2015



…douard Manceau. Translated by Karen Li.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2015.
30 pp., board, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-102-2,

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Valerie Nielsen.

*** /4



Board books, as they are called, are sturdy books created for little people with curious minds and small (but busy) fingers. Board books must incite interest with their bright colours, guarantee attention with a minimum of text, and invite exploration (even to the point of rough handling!) All of the aforementioned characteristics are featured in …douard Manceau's Look (originally published as Le petit curieux in France).

internal art     Born in France in 1969, author/artist Manceau has published several books for the very young, including Hatch Little Egg, The Race and Windblown. He is adept in many forms of visual art, often combining drawing, painting, photography and collage to accompany his simple storylines.

      Look is a super-sized 30 page board book with a die-cut hole in its middle. When the book is held aloft, the reader's view becomes that of a photographer looking through the viewfinder of a camera. At the beginning of the book, readers are invited to take a look though the hole and notice things in the world around them.

Do you see anything red? Orange? Blue? Green?
Things up high and down low?
Things that stay still and things that move...

     There is a page for seeing shapes, for shiny things, for letters and numbers and even a page stuck together with velcro that makes a wonderfully unpleasant noise when pulled open.

internal art      Look is definitely a book to be shared with very young children, probably those aged between one and five. As do Manceau's other works, Look invites readersí participation and, as the publisher suggests, encourages children to notice and engage in the world around them by using basic concepts such as shape, colour, texture and sound. To get a sense of Manceau's lively personality and unique way of looking at childhood, readers will enjoy a charming little video featuring the artist introducing Look which may be found on his website.

      Look should be a worthwhile addition to libraries in schools and facilities which focus on early education, such as Montessori and preschool centres. However, because of its size (19 and 1/2 by 28 cm.) and heaviness (30 super thick cardboard pages), it will be awkward for small hands to manipulate and thus may not prove to be as useful or popular as smaller more child-friendly board books.


Valerie Nielsen, a retired teacher-librarian, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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