Posted in Preschool Reads

Do You See What I See? Vintage art meets children’s concepts

9781909263840_def1bDo You See What I See?, by Helen Borten (May 2016, Flying Eye Books), $17.95, ISBN: 9781909263840

Recommended for ages 4-8

One step up from basic concepts, Helen Borten’s Do You See What I See? takes children one step further, unpacking what feelings and ideas these fundamental concepts evoke in young readers:

“Lines that bend in a zigzag way seem to crackle with excitement. They make me think of thunderstorms and jagged mountain peaks. I see the huge jaws of a crocodile, wide open and bristling with teeth, ready to snap shut.”

Originally published in 1959, Mr. Borten’s beautiful, vintage artwork adds texture to the basics: lines, color, and shape, whether it’s by adding swirls to an ocean full of fish or wispy, thin spider webs above the thick bars of a lion’s cage. Ms. Borten artwork and evocative text inspires children to see the world around them “as a great big painting, full of lines and shapes and colors, to look at and enjoy”.

I’m thrilled to see this book back in print and can’t wait to introduce it to my family storytime. We can have a great discussion about what different pictures and colors make kids feel, and how changing one thing in a picture – a shape, a color, adding or taking something away – affects the whole picture. A must-have for collections where kids are ready to take the next step beyond Mouse Paint and Mouse Count.

Do You See What I See? isn’t out until May, but take a look at some more of the beautiful art from the book, and you can pre-order from Amazon. Check out the publisher’s website for some more books – they have books with amazing artwork.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

2 thoughts on “Do You See What I See? Vintage art meets children’s concepts

  1. A very nice and insightful article. I never thought on these lines until I read this article regarding vintage art and how they can relate to children’s has given a new dimension to the vintage arts.

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