Britta Teckentrup is a immensely talented and prolific illustrator who continues to produce innovative and exciting picture books with her wonderful use of collage that explores colour, texture and emotion.
We Are Together
This is such a clever book about the power of togetherness and collaboration across nations and cultures. In a message deeply necessary in the modern world this opens up as the book progresses adding children of different heritage and cultures making a crowd of children united in hearts and kindness whilst each being unique.
The papercutting in the book cleverly reveals more children as the book is read and the circular design underpins the global message of inclusion and kindness.
This is such a clever book about how kindness grows and blossoms even beyond the original choice to be kind and has benefits that reach wider beyond us.
The book begins with a series of parallel images linked by an ever growing die cut progressing through the pages.
On the left side of the pages the children fall out and do not choose to make up causing crack in the Earth whilst on the other side a gesture of kindness is made to heal the rift.
As the pages progress we see the crack turn into a chasm on the left panel and descend into misery, sadness, selfishness and unkindness that infects others around the original pair whilst the right hand side prospers as the crack becomes the trunk of a tree and kindness spreads until it is so full the children spread over to the left panel and offer kindness there too.
It’s a beautiful message that shows grudges and unkindness are not worth the negativity and sadness, whilst kindness may seem weak to some but actually has long lasting and reaching goodness for all.
A beautiful pair of books using clever papercutting techniques to inspire, but of course it’s worth noting that children certainly under the age of 4 will need supervision, although these die-cuts are very cleverly placed to be stronger than some other books we’ve seen.
We Are Together And Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup are both published by Caterpillar Books.