The Other Side

As a child, did you ever wonder what it would be like if the person on TV could see you? Did you hang upside down on the monkey bars to be amazed at how different the world appeared? I’ll admit it. I used to stand on my desk in the corner of my room to get a bird’s eye view. Point of view is intriguing. Here’s my pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

IMG_0853 Title: The Other Side
Illustrated by: Istvan Banyai
Chronicle, 2005, wordless, fiction
Suitable for ages: ALL

Themes/topics: point of view, visual perception

Brief synopsis (from jacket)
In The Other Side, artist, designer, provocateur Istvan Banyai takes readers on another exceptional visual journey. In graphically stunning illustrations that feature many clever twists in point of view, familiar scenes turn and turn again to show us the back, the front, the top, the bottom, the opposite, the other side of each perspective. Here’s a door. What’s on the other side? Here’s a shoreline. What’s on the other side? Here’s a curtain. What’s on the other side? The answers may surprise you. Delightful, sly, funny, and challenging, The Other Side will make readers want to look, and think, twice.

Activities and Resources:
Writing: Choose one page and its flipside to write two stories based on opposite points of view.
Find the threads that weave through the book, things that reappear.
Explore the use of color.
Create your own “other side” drawings.

Why I like this book:
As a person who loves the interplay of words, I’m not usually drawn to wordless books. But this one, featuring different points of view, is a wordless gem.

It’s purely fascinating in so many ways – the art itself, the concepts, the creativeness. The illustrations inspire wonder, questioning, and exploration (mental and physical). Seeing the “other side” helps develop the ability to see the world from new perspectives, an aid in conflict resolution. For language development and English Language Learners (ELLs), it’s a great conversation starter. For writers, it opens the mind and sparks ideas. Take a peek.

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.


5 thoughts on “The Other Side

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