Before & After


Before & After‘ is great fun and uniquely different from other picture board books for very young readers.

With bold, colourful images, within black outlines, Jean Jullien compares the consequences of a variety of ‘before’ and ‘after’ actions. There is no predictability, either to the choice of topic, or to the ‘after’, which is in itself amusing. However, the graphics showing the consequence are so stark, that the emotion is evident and the reader cannot help but laugh, or empathise.

Further, Jean Jullien has extended the premise of ‘before and after’ so that in two incidents, we are shown an ‘even after’ and, toward the conclusion of this wonderful book, ‘a during’ that lasts for a finger tracing ride through four double pages!

Before & After‘ is a super title that I recommend highly to any growing infant bookshelf, sure to be greatly enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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Before & After

Jean Jullien

(Phaidon)- hardback

Before & After invites you to turn the board book experience on its head! It means you can reconfigure how you read. Thereafter, the opposites offered are original and daring. Often, it seems, they are very funny. Sometimes they continue a theme over a few pages. For example, what about short hair, then long hair? Then again, short hair, to long hair again? Furthermore, what about fair skin to sunburned skin? Then again, it plays with concepts like even numbers and odd numbers so that we’re left wondering, amused and totally engaged!
We know Jean Jullien encourages readers to look, engage and consider. Not only are his messages and comparisons fascinating but then his graphics prove so assured! His bold colours and strong lines draw us in. What’s more there are pages, with close up characterisations that leave us laughing aloud. I’m aware, looking anew, that there are no distractions; the message of the picture and text is the entire focus. Bookwagon loves Before & After. Then again, we’re delighted to welcome other books by this French artist aboard, including How to Be Cooler than Cool. Finally, it seems that  Before & After is a picture board book to be enjoyed by all readers.


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