These picture books explore opposites, but not just in terms of stripes or colors, in terms of characters as well. And in both cases, they not only show us what it means to be opposite—horizontal or vertical; black or white—they demonstrate the saying that opposites do, in fact, attract!
Mister Horizontal & Miss Vertical by Noémie Révah and Olimpia Zagnoli (2014).
(click image(s) to enlarge)
Two characters, one drawn to tall, the other to long. Miss Vertical is a fan of elevators, hot air balloons, and bungee jumping. Mister Horizontal likes scooters, naps, and the ocean. And yet, they’re a perfect match.
This is a wonderful book to illustrate a concept, which is a great skill on its own. But it’s so much fun along the way, thanks in large part to the poppy design that dances on the page in all directions. So bold. So graphic. So Olimpia Zagnoli!
Miss Vertical’s gestures are straight and up and down. Mister Horizontals are curved and round. Together, they’re an X and O.
That’s my one of my favorite spreads, Miss Vertical dangling from a tree, the forest background a lot like her shirt. And the perfect pop of red shoe.
The story was inspired by this photograph by René Maltête. So in a spoiler alert, these two have a child at the end of the book. And the child isn’t exactly like mom or dad. Nope, neither type of stripe will do!
Big thanks to Enchanted Lion Books for images!
Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando (2014).
And now, another kind of opposite! Black and White cats, from the tips of their noses to the tips of their tails. And they like opposite settings, which help them stand out—night and day!
Black Cat likes daytime, when dark-colored swallows soar. White Cat likes nighttime, when bright stars twinkle. But they’re not stuck in their ways. They’re curious cats, adventuring into the reverse unknown.
And there, on the way to new things, they meet. I imagine it’s dusk, but it could be sunrise too. Each experiences new things: fireflies and bumblebees. They discover how much they like to be together.
And at the end, six kittens! And neither black nor white at that. You’ll have to read the book to find out their colorful surprise! (Hint: it’s not a tomato and tasty as juice.)
A pair of picture books. Two love letters to contrast.