Friday, December 10, 2010

Look-Alikes Around the World

Look-Alikes Around the World Joan Steiner
Look-Alikes Around the World
by Joan Steiner

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007

We've been eying a series of "Look-Alikes" books by Joan Steiner.

This set of cleverly crafted books showcase famous landmarks, domestic settings, urban sites, even The Nutcracker ballet, holiday scenes and so on, but with a twist: they are all constructed with everyday found objects created painstakingly by Steiner, designed by Stephen Blauweiss, and then photographed by Ogden Gigli!

The tag line "The more you look, the more you see" aptly describes what the book is all about.

Take a closer look at the cover image of Look-Alikes Around the World above. While the mind abstracts and concludes Taj Mahal, the fun just starts as we spy ballet shoes, brussel sprouts, white chocolate bars and various every day objects making up this composite. The pictures are more like puzzles, and "reading" them turns into an I Spy game before long.

Not all books in the series are well-suited for children. In this interview, author Joan Steiner shares that one of the most unusual objects incorporated in one of her scenes is a hand grenade in the first book.

However, I found the three other Look-Alikes books that I've chanced upon (besides the Around the World shared here) to be a delight for the adult mind. Simple text tries to clue us in, and if we are still confounded, the Notes at the back of the book lists the items used in each picture.

While Look-Alikes Around the World is not quite as child-friendly as Look-Alikes Jr., both the two-year-old and the five-year-old had a lot of fun "discovering" pretzels, cupcakes, slices of bread, ballet slippers and suchlike in the pictures. This book is presented as a sort of travel journal with brief entries on each page forming the text, while the carefully constructed pictures are either in a postage stamp or post card format.

One of my favorites in this book is a gray socked foot with a door-stop looking uncannily like a stone statue in Easter Island.

I am in awe of Ms.Steiner's talent and hard work. The pictures certainly can fool an average adult at first glance, but best part is finding the everyday items disguised in each picture.

[image source:]


Choxbox said...

AWESOME Sheels. You are a super at finding gems!

artnavy said...

absolutely intriguing

i was reminded of Charlie's toothpaste cap construction in Charlie and the chocolate factory...

sandhya said...

Wow! Remember reading once that the ice-cream in ads is actually shaving foam!

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