From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5-Starting with two circles, one red and one green, symmetrically arranged against a field of white, Gonyea shows how changes in size, shape, and color alter perception. In 10 brief chapters, he covers concepts such as the difference between straight and diagonal lines, the usefulness of using a 1:3:9 design ratio, the clarity of contrast, and the impact of warm and cool colors. One of his strongest examples pits a traditional smiley face against a psychedelic version, reinforcing the subtitle. Less successful is the chapter "Letters Are Shapes Too," in which he pairs some letters with design terms. For example, he states "A is for Angles," but doesn't show or describe what angles are and why they're worth mentioning. By way of conclusion, the author builds a scene with planets and a spaceship, reviewing his major points. His minimalist approach to text and composition makes this book an effective advertisement for his message about the beauty of uncluttered design. It also makes the title accessible to children who are able to grasp the visual impact of formal elements, but are not yet ready to deal with the psychological effects as explored by Molly Garrett Bang in Picture This: How Pictures Work
(North-South, 2000). The humorous tone and hands-on approach add to the appeal and usefulness of an offering on an important topic about which little else exists.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mark Gonyea was born in upstate New York and spent the majority of his childhood consuming cartoons, video games, and monster movies. Little did he realize this was to be the essential groundwork for a career in cartooning and graphic design. He lives in Vermont.