Big and Small // Fast and Slow

by Britta Teckentrup

{published 2013, by Barefoot Books}

I just lost myself on Britta Teckentrup’s portfolio. Entirely charmed and swept away by every single piece. She’s new to me, and I’m happy to have flailed around in her brain for a bit. And it looks like I have a lot to catch up on!

I have an unusual affinity for board books. Proof: here and here and here. And that’s just a select smattering! But everything that is perfect about a picture book is even more so in a board book.

Smushier, sweeter, chewier.

And these are especially delicious. Fast and Slow shows those opposites side by side. Directly in contrast, varying by speed. The comparison is limited to that spread only, which is a detail that I love. One of the later spreads shows a train and a bus, which of course is double decker and European and fancy. But isn’t a bus faster than even that motorbike up above? Sure, but one spread isn’t competing with others. Little brains noodling that out? Smart.

And speaking of the motorbike page – total favorite. That scarf! The colors are saturated and leap into your eyes.

The type! It’s that perfect teacher-handwritten-style.

But it’s the texture that I love the most. Clean shapes, easy lines, and the slightest bit of grit. Smooth, flat color might have been an easy choice to match those shapes and lines. But in a book about contrast, splashing in some texture is smart.

And it looks awesome. Big and Small’s pairs are tightly knitted. Inside a giant apple is an itty-bitty seed. On top of a vast mountain are individual snowflakes. Those connections are beautiful, and the cat-lion standoff might be my very favorite spread. A perfect addition to your baby-shower rotation, your art class, your tiny one’s library, or just the ever-growing stack surrounding you.


Review copy provided by Barefoot Books.


  • amybronwen
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    “I have an unusual affinity FOR board books.”  

    Just thought I’d let you know about a little typo.  Just caught one on my own blog this morning.  

    From one to another!  

    Love what you’re doing here.  


    Amy Bronwen Zemser

  • erin
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Love the texture and how the smallest such detail can make the whole book pop. Great finds!

  • Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink


  • Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous books! I would love to get them for my nephews!

  • Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Perfect board books for the little ones. Love the simplicity and color!

  • Posted November 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Carter, you make me appreciate aspects of these wonderful illustrations I wouldn’t have picked up on before! And I do have a baby shower this weekend . . . thx!

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