Wednesday 1 February 2017

Undercover: One of These Things is Almost Like the Others

Undercover: One of These Things is Almost Like the Others by Bastien Contraire,
(Phaidon) HB RRP $29.95 ISBN 9780714872506

Reviewed by Stephanie Ward

Undercover is a wordless picture book that presents a series of similar illustrations on each two-page spread including one that doesn’t quite belong. Fun abounds as the search for the odd one out can sometimes be a both a challenge and a bit ironic – a plane among bugs, a sole egg in the midst of a dozen birds, a horse on a page of vehicles measured in horse-power.

Created by graphic designer Bastien Contraire, Undercover is a visually stunning, large format, hardcover book with green and pink duotone colours and graphic stencil artwork. This style creates a deceivingly consistent look among the various items creating a puzzling game of hide-and-seek. Children and adults alike are sure to find favourites among the clever collections of images inspiring conversations about various items.

Even after multiple reads, there is always something interesting to discover in this 64-page book. In addition to being entertaining, its contemporary appearance makes Undercover a coffee table worthy children’s book.

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