I See I See

Authored by Robert Henderson
Published by Allen and Unwin

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What an innovative concept!

This book is designed for two readers facing each other reading the same book in a relay. The design of this square format book makes it possible as the pictures are intended to be viewed from both perspectives.

Here are a couple of amusing examples.


And another

Halfway through the book is turned so that each reader has the opportunity to be the first to read. Then at the end, the book is turned again. This time the children can read the lines that had been read by their partner. You can imagine the pleasure they will have in discovering how the picture changes when you look at it from a different perspective.

Some of the ideas are instantly recognisable, but others are more abstract, and so the reader who will engage best with the book is perhaps a little older than might at first glance seem obvious given the simple text and illustration. A younger child and older sibling could read the book and appreciate different things. It’s good to have a range of difficulty as this gives the book more depth and the potential for revisiting. For example, the push and pull page below might be instantly understood by a six-year-old but need demonstrating to a four-year-old.


And this example for stop and go, which uses a stylised traffic light without the colour requires a further step in abstract thinking.

One of the most exciting applications for the classroom would be to challenge older children to make their own images and accompanying rhymes and put them together as a class book.

It could also be used to provoke discussion about perception and point of view. Do we see the world differently depending on our perspective? Does that mean we should be more tolerant of those who might see the world differently? Is there always more than one side to an argument?

This is Robert Henderson’s first picturebook, and I am intrigued to see if the next one will play with the idea of the book as an object. A neat idea, I see. I see, is bound to win fans.