If I weren't already fully developed, brain-wise (and probably on the downward slope, a likelihood that is difficult to deny, given how frequently I leave my phone at home and my inability to Tweet with any regularity), I would expect to be about fifteen points smarter by the time I closed this book.
There's a striped bee. On the head of a red bird. In a green-leaved tree. In the bed of a yellow truck. And then our perspective shifts so that the truck appears to be driving across a black and white landscape as the bird flies away. What was that?! Oh. We were looking at the truck across the back of a cow. Hi, cow. The cow is standing in a flat green field next to wavy blue water.
What's next for the bird? What will that big white thing turn out to be? And why would a bee ride on a bird's head?
Craig Frazier (Lots of Dots, the Stanley books) gives us a wordless picture book full of large shapes, bold patterns, clear colors, and a surprising amount of personality. Rather than leave his giant color fields plain and flat, often a subtle gradient will indicate contour or volume.
Wordless books are the most wonderful investments. The best ones allow the reader to conjure endless stories, like the protagonist of Still Life With Woodpecker, who meditates on a Camel pack for several years. Or like Jane Eyre, filling the blank endpapers of books with her own thoughts.
Maybe I am not all that far gone after all. I've been through Bee & Bird three or four times now and I'm still finding new things that tickle me. And my husband and I finished the diagramless New York Times crossword puzzle last Sunday. We should just keep exposing ourselves to patterns and shifting perspectives, and maybe watch Powers of Ten every couple months.
Put Bee & Bird on your short list of things that are mind-blowing and fun at the same time. Bubble wands, kaleidoscopes, wordless books.