This Way, That Way
This Way That Way
Antonio Ladrillo, London: Tate, 2017, hb, 978 1 84976 451 3, £7.99, 24pp
Wordless Picture Book, 3+
For an adult like me, who isn’t given to idly, or even purposefully, folding paper into different shapes, this is a challenging book. There are pages of different shapes in bright colours, some of them cut horizontally, with two goggle eyes and a smile appearing in different places on the pages.
And there are suggested fold lines on each page, sometimes vertical and sometimes diagonal, sometimes following the boundaries of colour and shape and sometimes opposing them. You are invited to fold the pages to make different combinations of colour and shape, with the facial features forming rudimentary shape ‘characters’ which come into various relationships with one another, within and across pages. If you are imaginative enough, it might even be possible to make up scenes and simple scenarios of what might happen, for instance when green blobby meets red square. Published by Tate publishing, it is advertised as introducing young children to the building blocks of art. Whether it will provide “hours of entertainment” will probably depend on the child who picks it up. But, even I, not anymore childlike and never particularly artistic, enjoyed ten minutes or so exploring what I could come up with by folding this way and that. It is an ingenious participative creation from the most basic of design elements. And the pages are strong enough to endure a lot of bending and shaping.
Review by Clive Barnes
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