Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Before I Wake Up... by Britta Teckentrup

I love Teckentrup's bright, vigorous colors and textures so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this book when it arrived and I saw that it seemed to be a very different style of art.

The text is a little girl's dream and, to be honest, is completely forgettable. It's written in stilted rhyme and is very random. "I swim with the whales/I dive into the ocean/I close my eyes/so full of emotion" or "When I open my eyes we're deep in a wood./We follow the path. I feel so good." So, let's move on from the text.

The art isn't really what I expect from Teckentrup; it's very dark and mostly in shades of black and brown with a few sharp splashes of color. Initially, I didn't like it. However, the more I studied it, the more interesting it became. There are several spreads that are layered with different prints, colors, and images. The lack of emotion on the face of the girl and lion makes each pictures seem like a separate landscape, a dreamscape of events and emotions, where the focus is on the background and what the reader imagines, rather than what is pictured.

Verdict: In the vast sea of bedtime books this doesn't really stand out and the text is mediocre at best. However, if you're looking for titles to stimulate the imagination or introduce children to different art styles this is a good choice.

ISBN: 9783791372464; Published 2016 by Prestel; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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