What's Inside by Giles Laroche
This beautiful book presents interior and exterior views of fourteen extraordinary structures from around the globe, from King Tut's tomb (1327 BC) to the Georgia Aquarium (2005). Each building is first shown and described from the outside - but not identified - and before the reader turns the page, the question is asked: "What's inside?" The next page answers the question and identifies the building, and offers specifics about what is happening in this picture.
Salient facts about the building: name, location, date, materials, etc. are listed in the margin. The text is good, the structure is clever, and the art - the closer you look at each page of What's Inside, the further you fall into Giles Laroche's layers and layers of cut and painted paper. You've got to call this sculpture - the visible dimensionality of the art gives each page a deep tactile quality.
In the author note, we learn that Mr. Laroche works in a 230-year-old barn in New Hampshire. Do we think he's just a little bit obsessive? Hmmm, yes we do! And in kind of a cool way. We know mosaicists and puppeteers that are obsessive like that, and it's always tantalizing to imagine what they are thinking about.
Click on this thing to see it bigger. You will not be disappointed.
Animals, people, domestic scenes, and landscapes both natural and man-made are depicted with skill and charm: the intricacy of this art will hold readers spellbound. The book is brought to a satisfying close with a loving recreation of a North American small-town street, and the interior of a lighted room in which two children create ziggurats and temples out of blocks, and read a book. What are they reading? Why, they're reading What's Inside? by Giles Laroche.