Sonderbooks Book Review of

Apples and Robins

by Lucie Felix

Apples and Robins

by Lucie Felix

Review posted January 3, 2019.
Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2016. First published in France in 2013. 52 pages.
Review written in 2016

Here’s a simple picture book by a graphic designer. I was surprised by the high page count when I counted the pages – there are only a few words on each page, so it goes quickly. The point of the book is the art, not the words.

This book is done with simple shapes and cut-outs and bright colors. It shows how simple shapes can make recognizable things.

The book begins, “All you need for apples are circles and the color red.” On a red page, there are three white circles, but two of those circles are made from cut-outs. When you turn the page, the circles become red apples in a tree, with leaves and stems.

The next interesting transformation is this one:

All you need for a ladder are six rectangles: five short and one long.

When you turn the page, sure enough, the long rectangle cut-out turns the short rectangles into the spaces between the rungs of a ladder.

And the shapes and cut-outs get more complicated. My favorite is the robin, made from a circle cut-out placed around “three bright triangles like the robin’s whistle and a red oval like its round red breast.”

We’ve got a little bit of drama with a storm blowing down the bird house and later the arrival of Spring. But the point of this book is the fascinating transformations.

It will get kids thinking, seeing things from a new perspective, and perhaps trying out this kind of art themselves. This is a lovely and surprising picture book.