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Up & Down: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup is one of my new (to me) favorite picture book illustrator/authors. Her work in Busy Bunny Days  and The Odd One Out, which I reviewed earlier this year call to mind the work of Richard Scary and the brightly patterned fabrics of Marimekko. In her newest book (in the U.S.) Teckentrup, who is German but lived in London for almost 20 years, uses her way with patterns and colors and adds a touch of paper engineering to tell the story of a penguin off to visit a friend in Up & Down.

The images above give you a feel for Teckentrup's style and palette, but don't really convey the cleverness in the placement of the flaps within the illustrations, but I hope you get a sense of just how fun Up & Down is to read out lout. The page where Little Penguin is swimming above "bobbing jellyfish" and below a "tickly ocotpus" is especially inventive. In the context of the story, with both the words and the pictures, the flaps are used to illustrate opposites, like up and down, happy and sad, big and small, in front of and behind, and so on. The adventure of Little Penguin making the journey to his friend has ups and downs and ins and outs, all of which flow pleasingly, like the ocean waves, back and forth, leading to the happy moment when the friends are reunited.

I can't wait to see what Britta Teckentrup does next, and hope that whatever it is it will be published in the U.S.!

More great books by Britta Teckentrup!

Source: Review Copy


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