Last fall, when I started to have my first rumblings of being drawn to write and the realization that I have a passion for children's books, my daughter's preschool had a teeny, tiny book fair set up in the foyer. I bought a few books to add to our ever-growing mini library. WADDLE!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder, stood out on the shelf that day and has been outstanding in entertaining and educating my children ever since!
The science behind what makes this book great and unlike most other animal books is similar to a hologram. Remember those cool images you used to tilt as a kid and it looked as though the object in the picture was moving? Now, if that blew your mind in the eighties, imagine what the amped-up, modern version can do to your little ones' minds. When I opened WADDLE! for the first time I was dazzled by the dancing penguin on the cover and now, after researching the author/illustrator, I know why.
Rufus created the LIFETILES medium in 1987. As described in his biography, "This type of animation is known as the 'picket fence' technique – because if you look through a picket fence while you're going past it, anything moving on the other side appears to be traveling in a jerky way." Only, he improved the technology by fabricating the black stripes, or 'coded' image, which results in fluid motion. Instead of the old holograms and lenticular imagery, "LIFETILES (is) capable of supporting up to six different phases of movement." Basically, the animals really move and you don't have to tilt the page "just so" in order to enjoy it. Click here for an example of a frog and here for a dolphin.
|Baltimore Aquariuam, 1990.|
He has since expanded and capitalized on his LIFETILES vision with creating Scanimation books like Waddle! and his own line of one-of-a-kind toys at Eye Think Inc. I realized I can definitely relate to his fascination with the allure of motion imagery when he shared, "I'd always liked those 1950s animated moiré pattern lamps with the inner rotating cylinder...and I set out to create something similar: a lamp with images that would actually come to life and move.” I was captivated by the spinning lamp in Mermaids and sought out to find one for my first born's nursery when I was pregnant.
|Do you remember that scene where Cher walks in the room |
and sees the waves illuminating and rotating on the walls?
I totally wanted that room when I was little!
|I have always loved this movie! |
"Mom is many things...normal isn't one of them."
Anyway, with thick pages it resembles a board book and because it illustrates so many animals (a penguin, frog, pig, elephant, snake, hummingbird, bear, dolphin), it is great for all ages! It is also small at 5" x 7" and is therefore great for travel! There has been some criticism that the black lines make it too dark and since it is possible to be done without them it should have been. And some feel the alligator at the end who is "gonna getcha" is a little too scary for a children's book. But my girls love causing the animals to move by opening each page, and then mimicking each fantastic action verb with a waddle, hop, prance, stomp, slither, flap, scamper, and leap on the floor in their room- especially the slither and, yes, even the alligator chomp at the end. Oh, and it's colorful. And it rhymes. It really is a crowd pleaser and has earned 4 out of 5 blueberries as our newest Blueberry Book! If you're still not convinced, check out this other Mom's recommendation here.