April 19, 2018

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Before & After by Jean Jullien | SLJ Review

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redstarJULLIEN, Jean. Before & After. illus. by Jean Jullien. 40p. Phaidon. Mar. 2017. Board $12.95. ISBN 9780714874081.

Toddler-PreS –This book compares what things look like before and after different events occur. A cat is depicted before and after he is cleaned. Spaghetti is shown before and after it is cooked. Milk is shown before and after it is poured. This narrative uses repetition to assist readers in becoming familiar with the concept of sequence. The word before is written in white font and after is in black font. The background colors also change for each set of examples. Both words are clearly written in large type and are repeated throughout the narrative. These features help link each word with its respective illustration. The artwork is done in a graphic cartoon style. Primary and secondary colors give this book a playful mood. Each illustration is placed on a solid monochromatic background. The layout appears to push each large, vibrant image further into view and makes the often complex changes easy to decipher. Many of the characters have comical facial expressions, lending the narrative a fun and silly tone. VERDICT A unique and successful concept book for early learning and social emotional learning classrooms.–Deanna Smith, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2017 issue.

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