One Is Not a Pair is a beautifully produced spotting book, the third in a series by Britta Teckentrup, written by Katie Haworth and published by Big Picture Press.
This book immediately stands out with brightly coloured pencils on the cover set against a black background. Gorgeous artworks like this continue throughout with each page showing a different collection of items; from vehicles and toys to animals and plants, all recognisable to young children. The images are in matching pairs all except for one and the challenge of the book is to find those stand alone pictures in each group.
The illustrations are accompanied by short verses that describe the pictures as well as guiding you to look for the odd one out. There’s a great breadth of language used to describe pairs and the action of looking as well as some really lovely onomatopoeic rhymes that are delicious to read aloud: The tractors are “huffing” and “puffing” while the birds “witter and twitter”.
The artwork in this book is stunning; bright, colourful and bold, Britta Teckentrup’s style is contemporary whilst maintaining a classic feel. The last page of the book is an explosion of colour as all the items from the book come together for one last challenge to find who is without their pair.
The pictures are not over complicated so at first you don’t expect it to be too difficult to spot the odd one out but the subtle differences between them make some a little tricky. A perfect activity for my four-year-old, too much detail could have put him off but he really enjoyed the game. It was so interesting to watch as he methodically looked through each image, scanning the others for a matching pair. And of course there is a great sense of achievement once you’ve cracked it.
As well as looking for pairs and missing pairs the pictures can easily encourage further language development and play. There are plenty of opportunities to talk about and differentiate between size and colour as well as counting items. We talked about which ice creams we would like and pretended to buy, sell and eat them and even had a discussion about what the magpies might have been thinking.
A gorgeous book, one that will keep young children busy but is also a beautiful piece of art.
Many thanks to Big Picture Press for sending a copy of this book for review.
To accompany this book we were also sent a postcard book from another of Britta’s spotting books, Where’s the Pair? This set includes pictures of animals, my one-year-old loves looking through them as he is just learning the names and sounds of different animals.
You can see more of Britta Teckentrup’s work on her website here.