Opposite Zoo by Il Sung Na is a story about how a mischievous, little monkey explores the zoo at night. On his journey he sees how the animals pair up in opposites. With the monkey's door open at the beginning of the story, this title reminds me of Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.
Some opposite pairings are predictable like the owl is awake and the panda is asleep; the sloth is slow and the cheetah is fast. The hedgehog is prickly but it's put with the tiger who is soft, a mate that is not so expected.
The lion is hairy; the hippo is bald and so on.
The artwork is done with pastel, deepening nighttime colors. There are rich blending of hues with the animals colors with watercolors, markers, and colored pencils. As always the foliage is masterfully made. Il Sung Na has a unique way of combining colors. I especially love the purple and red on the cheetah and the sloth. The delightful merging of oranges and blues on the baboons and the multi-colored tortoise are exquisite. We have a proficient artist making an early learning picture book on opposites. What a treat for the preschool group.
I'll use this in Storytime and Toddler Play time. I'll recommend it to parents and preschool teachers that are teaching opposites.
I'll also use this as an excellent example of art mastery for our young learners. Just because it's art for children doesn't mean it has to be plain and simple art. It can be amazing mixtures of colors with a first-rate artist.
Both pictures are from the artist's website.