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Before After    by Matthias Arégui & Anne-Margot Ramstein order for
Before After
by Matthias Arégui
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2014 (2014)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book features over 170 pages of illustrations but no words. That's right; you have to provide the story that will accompany each set of two illustrations.

For example, one set of illustrations includes a very small acorn on one page and opposite it is a full page rendition of a mature oak tree. Now, what will you have to say, or what tale will you create to go with these two pictures?

Naturally the creative challenge for the adult or child is to let his/her imagination use the visual inspiration to fashion some type of narrative. Each time you look at the pictures the story can change or be altered. Or, in some instances, perhaps all you will wish to do is look at the pictures. That's fine too.

This unusual but intriguing picture book will probably be carried in museum bookstores, and both creative writing and art instructors might find it useful. But families who believe in nurturing creativity in their children will find many uses for this exquisite book too!

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