Playing with perspective and scale, Inside Outside is a wordless book that uses 18 spreads to encourage readers to look at things differently. A spelunker descends into a cave filled with crystals on one page; on the other, his fellow explorers wait outside the hole, helping to lower him down. It’s an unassuming scene until you take both views into consideration. On another spread, a canopy bed sits alone in the dark; a pillow lies on the floor, and the canopy is torn; the torn fabric tied to a post and leading out a window. On the facing spread, we see a a castle among a wide vista, knight standing guard at a turret… and a slit of a window, with a knotted fabric rope traveling down the wall. Look closer, and you’ll see a figure wading to shore, her long blonde hair down her back. Some of the illustrations are tongue-in-cheek, like the page that has a darkened museum gallery with a broken velvet rope and a missing picture; its facing page has a burglar, dressed in black, carrying a flashlight and a white frame across city rooftops; others invite more thought, like a rapidly beating heart that reveals itself to belong to a bungee jumper on the facing spread.
Inside Outside‘s digital artwork is bold with deep and bright colors throughout. It’s a great way to introduce discussions about how we see things: size, color, shapes, all factor into the illustrations and provoke consideration and evaluation. A good addition to art classes for older kids, and storytelling for younger kids. The authors previous book, Before After, plays with perspective and nature.
Inside Outside has a starred review from Kirkus.