Before After

Ramstein Aregui Before After Spread 3

A book without words tells a surprising number of stories.

For a book with not a single word in it, Before After tells a surprising number of stories through its beautiful and elegant illustrations. With each turn of a page, Matthias Arégui and Anne-Margot Ramstein invite children to draw connections between two before-and-after images. The connections between the pictures vary in complexity as the book goes on: from a night sky and a sunny one, to a carrier pigeon and a stamped envelope. With 176 delightful pages to admire, the book is a great tool to introduce children to the concept of before-and-after, and the passage of time.

As a kid, I loved feeling like I was all grown up—and from the outside, the thick, hardcover book it truly looks and feels like one an adult would pick up. In fact, though the book is great for sparking conversation with your non-reading toddlers, older kids and adults will also enjoy the often witty and humorous images, like the egg before a chicken, followed by a chicken before an egg. The book even makes references to other children’s tales, such as the picture of a pumpkin next to a carriage, or a straw house next to a pile of hay, that made me smile with nostalgia.

So whether it ends up on your coffee table, or your child’s bookshelf, Before After is sure to get anyone’s brain gears turning and imagination going.

Find Before After at your local library.