So for my concept project I am still analysing children’s books from a range of years (mainly contemporary) to see how their books work and how they use the book to their advantage. Recently I have looked at Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg who have created many major books over the years. I was looking at this book as they have used the physical properties of the book to their advantage. There is a hole cut out in the centre of every second page showing what the baby can see.
Showing what the baby can see from his cot.
As you turn the page over the full scene is revealed, and as the page rest on the left the hole focus on the baby. It is a simple but clever design that adds anticipation in every turn of the page not knowing what is happening within that hole. With the rhythm of the text it goes a steady pace that allows you to absorb the short story and the detailed scenes. If they made the scenes with the baby full bleed, I think it would have lost it’s delicacy and simplicity. Using the white page with the thin blue line border focuses the readers attention within the ‘centre stage’.
From this I decided to have a go at a similar style without copying as this would be a waste of time as I’m not making anything new.
So this is a rough mock up with two double page spreads. As shown there are clues on the left based on what the animal is on the next page. I placed vignettes with the text to carry on experimenting with the previous task I did and I think they look alright but I would change the display and colours as they look a little plonked on. I then used the Peepo! technique of the holes in the page, I changed them to slits with flaps to make the book more interactive. Using short sentences like ‘Go on…take a… sneaky peek…’ to entice the reader to have a look through the holes where they would see part of the animal. Small visual clues to the guessing game.
A closer look at the flaps. If I would improve this I would see if I could make the slits larger or the image clearer as the are a little hard to see. As the reader interacts with the pages, it would hopefully amuse them and allow them to learn uncommon facts about the animal at the same time. Ideally they would go to their friends or older siblings and tell them what they had learned from this experience.
Turn over to reveal the animal, these facts are quite bold but I just did a quick research although if I was going ahead with this idea to develop it further I would look and research into the specific animal more. From experimenting with this design it has opened my eyes into what else can be done with the physical book as well as teaching myself facts about these animals.
If I was to critique my actually work I think the colours all work well together and has a dry feeling to it. The grass in the background is paper that I took a photo from the last project with Babel. I thought the use of the words going vertical creates height and texture to the grass. However, I am not sure that the colours do merge into one another and the giraffes don’t stand out, I would have to experiment with the colours and shading. Also from reading the Picture Books as Aesthetic Objects by Lawrence R. Sipe I could use the angle of the lines and character to emphasis certain aspects of my work. What that is I don’t know until I look into it a little deeper. So from here I am going to look at another book and experiment further with my work and alternative techniques.
Ahlberg, J., Ahlberg, A., 1983, Peepo!. London: Puffin.
Sipe. L, S., Picture Books as Aesthetic Objects, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 24.