Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Look by Gabi Snyder

by Gabi Snyder
Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Paula Wiseman Books
Picture Book
48 pages
ages 4 to 8


In the tradition of Tomie dePaola’s Quiet , this lyrical, timely picture book with beautiful diorama illustrations shows that if you really look, you never know what the world might give you to see.

The natural world is full of patterns to enjoy for those who can ground themselves, be mindful, and truly see.


Patterns pop out in a new way, creating a different view of the world around us.

Following the day of a child and mother, this book encourages readers to stop and take a look at the world around them. Starting with the simple shadow from the back of a chair, each page leads further into the realm of patterns. From gardens to animals to stores and more, patterns are discovered everywhere. 

Readers are directly addressed and encouraged, step-by-step, to gaze at their surroundings and discover various patterns. The text holds a playful, lyrical atmosphere as it suggests various places where patterns can be found. It fits the intended audience nicely and does make a nice read-aloud, but for group readings, it is important to have the illustrations very visible, since it's these which make this read hit home.

With a 3-D feel of texture and patterns, each page offers quite a bit to gaze at. I was surprised at how well suited this art style is for the purpose. The scenes are familiar, enticing readers to search in their own lives for patterns after the book is set down, but the scenes offer tons of seeking possibilities, too. It's fun to search through each one and not only discover the pattern mentioned in the text but see if others are visible as well. 

This does a nice job at demonstrating how patterns are found even in unexpected ways and places. It never grows dull or monotonous but keeps expanding the variety, inspiring to immediately go on a search when the book is done. The last pages do hold a bit of information about some pattern types and offer ideas on seeking and creating patterns as an extra activity. 

If nothing else, it is enjoyable simply to flip through the illustrations again and again and enjoy each and every scene.

And here they are...

Gabi Snyder is the author of several picture books, including Two Dogs on a TrikeListenToday, and Look. She studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas and is a member of SCBWI. When she’s not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family. Learn more at GabiSnyder.com.

Samantha Cotterill has written and illustrated many popular books for children, including the Little Senses series, Thankful by Elaine Vickers, A Grand Day by Jean Reidy, Look by Gabi Snyder, Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime! by Lisa Mantchev, and Just Add Glitter by Angela DiTerlizzi, which The New York Times called “a sparkle of genius.” Samantha lives with her family in upstate New York. Learn more at SamanthaCotterill.com. 

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