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Look! What Do You See?: An Art Puzzle Book of American and Chinese Songs

By: Xu Bing

Illustrator: Becca Stadtlander

A puzzle, a work of art, and a collection of classic American and Chinese songs, fill this innovative book by one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists.

ISBN: 9780451473776

JLG Release: Feb 2018


Sensitive Areas: None

$12.75  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: The Arts

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

In 1994, Bing invented Square Word Calligraphy, a “secret code” that looks a lot like Chinese calligraphy. This volume presents the lyrics to 17 songs in that code, accompanied by Stadtlander’s beautiful watercolor illustrations. The first dozen are common U.S. folk songs (including “Camptown Ladies,” “Yankee Doo In 1994, Bing invented Square Word Calligraphy, a “secret code” that looks a lot like Chinese calligraphy. This volume presents the lyrics to 17 songs in that code, accompanied by Stadtlander’s beautiful watercolor illustrations. The first dozen are common U.S. folk songs (including “Camptown Ladies,” “Yankee Doodle Came to Town,” and “Skip to My Lou”) and the final five are common Chinese folk songs (including “Tiger Learns to Climb” and “The Snail and the Yellow Birds”). Readers are encouraged to look closely to decipher the text. Starting with the songs they know, students can then crack the ingenious code to read the lyrics to the songs they don’t. The back matter contains instructions on writing Square Word Calligraphy as well as all the lyrics to the songs, in case there was a word readers were unable to decipher. While the method of guessing the song based on the picture and then working backward to crack the code is a fun twist, it also makes the book harder to categorize in a library collection, and students may skip over it. The visual look of the code (which is in English, written with stylized letters arranged in a square in a manner that visually borrows heavily from traditional Chinese calligraphy) is significantly different enough from most other English-based codes that cypher fans should be very intrigued and eager to try it for themselves. VERDICT A fun coded puzzle for readers to spend time analyzing, but it may need some handselling for kids to pick up.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA

Book Details

ISBN

9780451473776

First Release

February 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

793.73

Trim Size

9 1/2" x 11 1/2"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics


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