Friday, February 28, 2020

If . . . 25th Anniversary Edition

If . . . is a reformat and re-release of a gorgeous picture book from 1995 by Sarah Perry. Due out 3rd March 2020 from Getty, it's 48 full color pages and will be available in hardcover format.

This is a very short book, but overwhelmingly lush and beautiful. The pictures are surreal and realistically rendered. The artwork is precise and engaging, it draws the eye and invites a lingering contemplation. I have revisited the book a couple times since my original read-through, and I've found myself thinking about one picture or another many times in the intervening hours.

Each of the 23 paintings (not counting endpieces) has a one sentence introduction "if" ants could count, hummingbirds told secrets, dreams were visible, with the artwork illustrating the posit on the facing page. The illustrations are surreal and dreamlike with lots of semi-hidden subtleties and sly details.

This is an all-ages book. Adults will appreciate the beauty and creativity while children will likely appreciate identifying the features of each of the illustrations and everyone can enjoy hunting the hidden 'easter eggs' in each painting. 

This 25th anniversary edition also includes a reader's guide with some background info on some of the pictures as well as 2 new paintings and some new spot illustrations.

Gorgeous book, haunting in a good way.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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