Give and Take by Lucie Felix
|Give and Take by Lucie Felix|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Part toy, part book and part artwork; take from one page and give to the other in this striking book to helps develop hand-eye coordination in the very young.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 18||Date: September 2015|
|Publisher: Old Barn Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Winner: The British Book Design and Production Awards 2016 0-8 years Children’s Trade category 2016 British Book Design and Production Awards
Some of the best children's books are the simplest. Do away with pages too full of imagery; begone novelty characters and repeat references to underpants. Some books don't need this; they are so clean, crisp and simple that they border on being art. A book that can be fun for a child, educate them and look amazing is a rare thing, but does happen once in a while.
Give and Take by Lucie Felix is one such book, a simple 18 pages that invites a child to explore from one end to the other and back again if they wish. Made from thick card, as soon as you see the cover you know this is a special item. The look and feel has that European simplicity chic that is popular in my house (with the adults at least). In recent times it is the French that seem to be making the most bespoke and beautiful toys, so it is no surprise to find that Felix herself is a French artist as she subtlety combines an educational book with art.
Each double spread is a minimalist's delight, a simple white page that contains one or two bright elements. The reader is encouraged to interact with the book by removing part of the page and sometimes adding it again on the next page. This may reveal a mouse or a candle, the simplicity works brilliantly in encouraging a toddler to interact, but also looks great. Once you have taken from one page and given to another you will reach the end; you are now asked to go back again. There is no story, just a simple artistic game that helps to encourage development of motor skills, the book is almost as much a toy as it is reading matter.
As well as studying art, Felix also studied biology and you get the sense from Give that the author has thought about the fundamentals of child development and created a book that will work to help hand-eye co-ordination. Due to the loose pieces involved, it is suggested that 3 year olds and above should only play with the book, but with close supervision I think that any child over 18 months should be fine – just be careful that they look after the pieces that are removable and don't lose them, or the book will soon lose its appeal.
The draw of Give and Take may rest slightly on how the adult feels towards simplified books, but from what I have witnessed, children do love it. This really is a book that also appeals as a toy. If that was not enough, you do get the sense that it helps them develop their skills to remove and add items. This is a joy of a book to look at, but also to watch your young one play with.
You can read more book reviews or buy Give and Take by Lucie Felix at Amazon.com.
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