Eye to Eye by Graeme Base
Published by Viking by Penguin Australia
What do you do when you have a house full of kids and Master Four year old is has ants in his pants? You plonk him down in a beanbag and hand him over to Graeme Base for fifteen minutes, who gently takes him by the hand and leads him through his new book, Eye to Eye.
And the mesmerizing begins!
The book is full of enchanting illustrations and the only peep I heard out of Master Four was, “Come and looks at this picture, it’s awesome!” It was a snow leopard and Master Four mused, “I have never seen one before but now I know exactly what they look like.” I was also called to look at the big blue whale and we both sunk down into the beanbag and had ourselves an awe and wonder moment.
The book follows the imaginative play of a young boy as he visits with different animals and creatures. We are given a snippet of the life form’s eyeball and the following page reveals the boy and his animal friends engaging in imaginative play. He flies, he rides, he battles, he cuddles and climbs - to name a few!
My favourite is the boy pictured as tiny as an ant, carrying a leaf in an ant conga line. They are perched on a tree branch and safely away from pants.
The structure of the book makes it totally accessible to the non-reader. But it is even better when read together. The text is simple and repetitive with the gentle saw eye to eye with … leading into classic Base stunning illustrations.
We all know that Graeme Base is a master illustrator but the effect the book had on a crotchety Master Four was powerful stuff! He literally sunk into the text and became still and entranced. Sadly he had to call for reinforcements to get me up and out of the beanbag, which bought the moment to a close!
Not to fear, this is a book to be reread and cherished. Already the pages are well thumbed and slightly grubby. A sign of a perfect book!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Graeme Base
Title: Eye to Eye
Publisher: Viking by Penguin Australia
Published: September 2015