Monday, March 7, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Out of Sight by Pittau & Gervais

 I don't often look at books with movable parts or other oddities, but this one is so interesting I wanted to share it. Six spreads present flaps of different parts of animals. The first spread has four white on black silhouettes of animal heads and you have to guess what animal it is before lifting the flap and seeing a color drawing of the animal and an interesting fact. The second spread shows four more silhouettes, this time black on white, of humps and horns. Again, guess the animal and lift the flap - but this time the drawn animals are much larger, opening out as you open the flap, with an interesting fact about the body part in silhouette.

The third spread has ten flaps of varying sizes showing patterns on animal skins. Underneath each of these is a pop-out animal. Some of the facts are related to the animal's skin, while some are just general. The fourth spread has black flaps with a small cut out circle revealing the animal's nose, while their feet stick out below. The fifth spread has the same partial covering, this time with a circle that shows the animal's eye, while its tail sticks out from the flap. The fifth spread shows ears and the sixth spread has a wide variety of animal tracks to identify.

The book itself is definitely oversize, about a foot wide and 16" tall. It looks to me like the binding is just stapled perhaps? So it might easily come apart. But it's an utterly fascinating book! Even in just the few pages and flaps, there is an astonishing variety of animals and chances to guess their identities. I can see a lot more uses for this book as well, looking at the ways the animals in the various groupings are the same and different, finding other animals with similar patterns or attributes, creating your own flap pictures or books, etc.

Verdict: This would probably be better as a gift for an individual child than a purchase for a library, but if you have any kind of movable book collection, definitely consider it. It's a lot easier to reinforce than some pop-ups and lift-the-flap books - the library I borrowed it from easily covered the flaps with some kind of clear contact paper or laminate.

ISBN: 9780811877121; Published in the US November 2010 by Chronicle (translated from the French); Borrowed from the library.


Anonymous said...

I love reviews that tell me about flaps, as there are few things that frustrate me more then getting a book in the library and discovering flaps or ephemera. Some books are good books, just not good library books. Like those -ology books, or pop-up books. Lately, we got some books that ended up being board books, even though they weren't explicitly labeled that way. We got a strange one on left and right hands and a very odd one on the human body that had cut outs of different systems--board books with bones and veins cut out, arg!

Jennifer said...

weeeeird. what vendor do you use? I really love BWI b/c (among other things) they're really good at labeling things with lift the flaps or weird bindings.