Before & After by Jean Jullien

[Reviewed from Copy Received Courtesy of Phaidon]

Before & After is excellent in every way.  It playfully and creatively explores the concept of before and after while ingeniously utilizing the advantages of the board book format. Before & After is engaging, delightful, surprising, inclusive, and laugh out loud funny.

Nine different scenes play out with a standard pattern of before and after with a few surprises carefully added. The humorous twists and a well-crafted play on words makes for a great read for both the child and the adult. The artwork with its bold lines and cleanly paired cartoon imagery is perfect and wonderfully inviting for young children to ask questions and add their own interpretation as to what is happening. This is not a book to read straight through. Before & After is for reading, pausing, observing, and discussing.

Some of the situations are very straight-forward (before: dirty cat, after: clean cat; before? egg? after? chicken?)  and some are fantastically ambiguous (an apparently pregnant pair of women or are they?). The expressions drawn on the characters’ faces are priceless and lead to some excellent laughs.

My littlest one loves this book. Before & After is for ages three to five and it is absolutely spot on.  We’ve been reading it fairly regularly for months now and each time we read through it my son’s ideas and stories about what is going on during each scene gets more and more elaborate. He carries this book from room to room and will “read” it to himself. He will also ask my eldest to read it to him and they both will giggle and debate with each other about what is happening in the book.

Absolutely fantastic!

9780714874081-5

From Before & After by Jean Jullien. Used with permission.

 

9780714874081-7

From Before & After by Jean Jullien. Used with permission.

 

Recommended Ages 3 to 5. Phaidon. March 2017. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-0714874081 Board Book.

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Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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