Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Blog Archive » Il Sung Na’s The Opposite Zoo

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Blog Archive Il

“AWAKE!
asleep . . .”

(Click to enlarge spread)

 

Here’s some art today from Il Sung Na’s The Opposite Zoo, released by Knopf in March.

The Opposite Zoo of the book’s title, readers immediately learn, closes when the sky turns dark, but “the monkey’s door is OPEN! Time to explore. …” Here, the monkey visits, on each spread, animals that are opposite in nature (tall, short; soft, prickly; shy, bold; etc.), and when the sun comes up and the zoo opens, the monkey heads back to his cage. That’s it, in terms of story line.

But readers will want to stay for the visually striking, beautifully textured art from Na, rendered (I think) via ink and colored pencils. “With a coloring style that feels as if someone took a firecracker to a box of crayons,” wrote Minh Lê at the New York Times, “Na makes turtle shells as dynamic as a peacock’s plumage.” It’s true. This is art to pore over and enjoy, no matter your age. The text is spare; the brightly-colored art with its graceful lines is electric and appealing, making this a book children will want to read and re-read.

The art can speak more than I can. Here are a few more spreads.

 

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“Hairy
Bald”

(Click to enlarge spread)

 

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“S l o w
Fast”
(Click to enlarge spread)

 

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“NOISY NOISY NOISY NOISY …
quiet”
(Click to enlarge spread)

 

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(Click to enlarge cover)

 

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THE OPPOSITE ZOO. Copyright © 2016 by Il Sung Na. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, New York.

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