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Look-Alikes Hardcover – September 1, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Hardcover, September 1, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Come along! Jump aboard! Grab hold of my hand. / We're crossing the border into Look-Alike Land." So invites the opening lines of Joan Steiner's Look-Alikes, a three-dimensional miniature metropolis that's meticulously, ingeniously crafted out of everyday objects from mousetraps to milk bones. At first glance, a fancy hotel lobby seems just that, but take a closer look and you'll see a sofa made of gloves. In a sunny street scene, a building façade is laden with crackers, crayons form fence posts, and the tree is shaded by a stalk of broccoli. Children and adults alike will love poring over each picture, most of which contain more than 100 objects cleverly arranged to delight and deceive. Kids will easily identify many household objects, and the ones they may not recognize--a hosiery garter or flour sifter, for example--they'll learn from either the guide in the back or from a helpful parent. Good humor, a keen eye, and hours of hard work went into this visual marvel, which should be equally captivating for artists and I Spy fans. (Ages 5 to 105) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

In this dazzling debut, first-time picture book author/artist Steiner employs clever visual puns to create a whimsical parallel world. Using found objects, she painstakingly assembles three-dimensional collages that re-create everyday scenes, then photographs the results. What ensues is a tour de force of trompe l'oeil. Pistachio nuts on stems form a bouquet of "tulips" in a hotel lobby scene, where a tiny guest sits cozily on a "couch" made from a pair of cupped gloves. A city skyline reveals a modern skyscraper composed of a stack of CDs; two doors down a cowbell perched atop a vintage cookbook mimics the architecture of an earlier era. Dog biscuits laid end-to-end form the brick-like facade of yet another building, while at a park, a shoehorn "slide" and a sandbox made from an inverted tambourine abut a "water fountain" that's really a shell perched atop a chess piece. In this world where nothing is quite what it seems, slices of bread pave a sidewalk; infant pacifiers double as gaslights; pretzels affixed to round crackers become chairs at an old-fashioned soda fountain. Readers will pore over the enchanting visual similes, nearly 100 in each scene, in their attempts to detect each one. There's even a key at the end that offers a complete list of the look-alikes, to ensure none are overlooked. The amount of work that went into each tableau is staggering; the end result sheer delight. Bursting with creativity, this work of visual genius will set imaginations soaring. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Megan Tingley; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316812552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316812559
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I haven't purchased this yet, just have the library copy here. I heard about the adult version when it first came out, but didn't know there was a Look-Alikes for kids. I don't know what the age recommendation on this it, but my 3 1/2-yr-old is absolutely fascinated by it! Guess what he's getting for Christmas! And since I love things like this, everytime he says, "Mommy, come look at my library picture book" I drop what I'm doing and sit down with him. To me, that is the ultimate compliment - this book has prompted me to sit and concentrate on spending time with my child more often, and that's priceless. And believe it or not, most of the objects in the pictures aren't that obvious to adults, so when I point them out to him (excited that I myself found them), he's absolutely delighted. We've tried to push toys on our son that are not passive, where he sits and watches a battery-operated thingy do whatever it does, toys that encourage active participation and imagination, and I can't imagine anything better than this book. Just my thought, but I think this book and the original Look-Alikes are invaluable tools for teaching people of all ages to thing outside the box, shift your perception, and that's something that's good for all of us! Guess you can tell that I can't say enough good things about this, Ms. Steiner is an absolute genius.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my nephews and niece (ages 11, 9 and 4) who came to visit this summer. I was so excited at purchase! The incredibly clever scenes take hours to comb through, and you really view a lot of these objects differently after seeing the book. (Buildings made of fig newtons; thumbtack glassware at the soda fountain; an upside-down iron as a boat.)
However the actual children were a bit blown away. They looked at it and were interested, however many of the objects used were things they'd simply never seen and so couldn't pick out. What 4-year-old can tell that a bunch of tulips is really pistachios on sticks? Even the 11-year-old had never seen a flour sifter and therefore wasn't impressed by the sifter/water tower.
On the other hand, their mother (age 34) and my boyfriend (age 33) spent as many hours as I did on this book and are still delighted with it.
I personally collect beautiful children's books as a cost-effective alternative to coffee-table books. For my purposes, Look-Alikes is absolutely perfect.
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Format: Hardcover
The pictures in this book are just stunning, and so clever. I've had this book for a year now (we keep it in our bathroom) and I've still not found everything!
Each photograph is magnificent, and well taken, while the collages - for want of a better name - are really ingenious. Some objects take forever to find - the peanut pony tail, the mushroom car tires, and some are perfectly obvious, though you'd never have considered that a disposable razor could look like a vacuum cleaner. It's beautiful to look at and fun to explore. If only Steiner had left it at that and not tried to write poetry to go with it. The rhymes are unbelievably inane and stilted and take away from rather than add to the book.
This edition may actually be too difficult for children, as many adults seem to have trouble finding all the objects. "Look-Alikes Jr." came out soon afterwards and is much simpler, though just as much fun; much more suited to the under 12's and the less patient!
This book will last so long and provide so much enjoyment that it's well worth buying for the whole family.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Look-Alikes and Look-Alikes Jr. were show-stoppers at my house this Christmas. Poring over the pictures is an absolutely great activity that everyone, all ages, can join. The only problem we had is that there wasn't room for everyone to look at the book at the same time.
Something she doesn't say in the book but does reveal on the CD-Rom: these are photographs of actual dioramas, not photo- or Photoshop-collages. Amazing!!
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By A Customer on February 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that has been entertaining to all family members from the age of 9 to 78 years of age. Each person who picks it up cannot bear to part with it. The colors and photo layouts of each page are filled with warmth and depth. Even without close scrutiny the immediate "feel" of the photos is that you are glimpsing into a moment of time long gone. There is an "old world" feel to the pictures. Upon closer review you are repeatedly amazed at how your eye first deceived you. Absolute creative genius is what makes this book one to purchase-for any age. Especially wonderful for those who love puzzles and DETAIL. No detail is left out and no detail is left to its own nature. A twist on reality that delights you with every turn of every page. A must buy for sure.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. My ten year old son loved it! He spent hours looking at all the pictures and trying to figure out how they were made. You can see something new in each incredible picture every time you look at it! Our school library has ordered several copies. The creativity in this book is just too much fun.
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By A Customer on April 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My son received this for his 9th birthday. The adults loved it as much as he did. My mom ordered several more copies to use as a games at "grown-up" parties. Even the little ones liked it because you don't need to be able to read. This is a great book for all ages and well worth the money.
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