Thursday, February 28, 2008

GALLOP! A Scanimation picture book, by Rufus Butler Seder - review

Well, of course, the first thing you notice about Gallop! by Rufus Seder is that the animals in it... how do I say this? ... MOVE. Through the marvel of Scanimation®, the merest jiggle of the book causes the horse to gallop, the dog to run, the rooster to strut - in a lifelike way.

I think it works like this: as many as five or six images of the animal are printed in vertical strips, then a layer of vertically striped Mylar is overlaid, so that as your viewing angle shifts, you see different sets of vertical strips.

This little technological innovation is really reason enough to pick up the book. I'm thinking of buying a copy just so that I can take it apart to see how it works! But the thing is, Gallop! is a great board book for little kids even without the magic windows. Every page encourages movement and includes evocative, unusual onomatopoeia: "can you swim like a turtle? glippety-gloap-gloap!"

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