Britta Teckentrup

3 years +, Little Tiger Kids, Contemporary Books

Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go

Illustration by Britta Teckentrup

Words by Patricia Hegarty

Pubilshed by Little Tiger Kids

A simple peek-through picture book using rhyming couplets to describe the changing of the seasons. The same tree is depicted in the same location on every page. With every turn of the page, the seasons change and the tree comes to life with new cutouts revealing different animals, birds, insects, fruit and colours. 

Central to the tree is an owl that is the central figure of the story as he experiences all seasons. "Owl sits watching in his tree... No one see as much as he." Each page is filled with colourful details and has something new for children to discover such as a spiders web, birds nest, animals hiding, new plant growth, fruit falling. The clothbound cover is solid and high quality, pages are thick and this book will survive the poke of many little fingers as they reach out to touch the numerous cutouts and revealed animals. 

Britta Teckentrup's illustrations are bold, colourful and have been created with a wood block print style, though most likely digitally created. In my opinion this book is created for a younger audience than some of her other books and the illustrations are not as detailed as her spotting books. 

I am a big fan of Britta Teckentrup's work and I have previously reviewed The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book. Be sure to check it out if you are new to her work. 

Seasons books are fairly common but very few are worthy of a special mention. Another favourite of mine is Jenny Bower's book Little Tree which I have reviewed previously. Similar in concept, the little tree is shown in the same location on every page of the book, however it starts as a seed and grows and changes with each new season. Flaps are incorporated in to the illustration on each page to reveal hidden details within the tree such as insects, rain, nest, seeds. 

3 years +, Big Picture Press, Non-Fiction Books, Contemporary Books

The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book

Words & Illustration by Britta Teckentrup

Published by Big Picture Press

'The Odd One Out' is a stylish, contemporary spotting book. I highly recommend this book for children that enjoy playing 'I Spy' and for parents who grew up as fans of 'Where's Wally'.  

The book spreads are colourful and the repeated collage of each animal creates a complex pattern akin to wallpaper. A short rhyme introduces the animals on the opposite page of the spread. Within each rhyme is a clue for the reader to find a hidden detail within each page. Within the pattered puzzles, the reader needs to locate the hidden detail such as the tired baby rhino, baby penguin hidden by its mother, flamingo standing on one leg and a scared turtle to name but a few. The challenges are fun, and get more and more difficult as you move through the book. I was very surprised by just how difficult it was to find the odd one out in the spreads towards the end of the book. I know this book was designed for young readers but it took me a really long time to find the cross-eyed lemur!

While reading the book, I was reminded of Taro Gomi's book 'Hide & Seek'. 'The Odd One Out' is more complex than Taro Gomi's board book and this increased complexity makes it more appealing to a larger age range (2-6 years). 

This is a book to be pored over. The hardcover is clothbound with a debossed title panel. The book feels like special object and the matte pages are thick and dense with colour and interest. Kids will enjoy completing the challenges within the book by themselves, with their siblings, parents and friends. It is really good fun. 

Big Picture Press have published a fantastic collection of highly illustrated books since they launched in 2013. Click here to see their full list of titles. Britta Teckentrup's follow-up book 'Where's the Pair?' has just been released. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. 

Reviewed by Georgia White