Black on White

Tana Hoban‘s board and concept books have been in the hands of bitty ones since 1970. This particular one, Black on White, is page after page of (duh) black and white images. Some are simpler than others, and most are basic objects already familiar to kids. Plus, can you ever go wrong with an elephant?

No. And I think he agrees.

An infant’s underdeveloped eyes and brain will respond to high contrast images prior to images with color, so despite its seeming restraint, this book is a visual wonderland for the very young.


Two differing elements create contrast. We’ll go ahead and consider black and white to be colors, to avoid any color-theory-nitty-gritty arguing on a Sunday. That hurts the brain a little too much. And clearly, black is very dark, and white is very bright. When together, black and white represent the highest contrast. No shades of gray exist in between to ease the gradient and tone down the contrast. Black on White is created in high level, fundamental contrast. Your babes will go nuts.

M.C. Escher is a master of contrast.

So is Tana Hoban.

2 thoughts on “Black on White

  1. Pingback: A Book Of Sleep « Design of the Picture Book

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