Pros: Great photography, cute idea, theme of friendship!
Cons: I want more!
The Bottom Line: This is a great book to read with young ones, or just by yourself.
This small book caught my eye while I was looking through the new books for our shelves at the library. It caught my eye because it was just that; small. The cover said Close Friends and the call number on the side of the book was one for photography books, so I had to crack this one open.
The cover of Close Friends displays a long-eared droopy-eyed dog laying with his front paws out. Next to the droopy dog is a sweet-faced baby, also laying on its belly with his arms out in front. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but these two cuties had my attention enough to make me look through the rest of the book, though I should have been working...
Photographer Vicky Ceelen has filled the pages of Close Friends with pictures comparing babies to animals, reminding me somewhat of the ever-popular Anne Geddes. Before the photography begins, we see a short quote, "For close friends everywhere, no matter how far apart, or how unlikely..." and the next page has a "friends" quote as well. Following, we see our first glimpse of the magnificence that this book is; a close-up of an egg on the left page, and a pregnant mother's belly on the facing page. Two different items (though not so different when you think about them) and yet they look so similar in these photographs. One of my favorites features a young monkey sucking its thumb in the left photograph, and a baby also sucking its fingers in the right. Another of my favorites is a very young girl, waddling... just like the baby duck in the opposite picture!
Close Friends features several babies and various animals photographed in strikingly similar positions. Many of the pairs of photographs I would have never imagined to put together, and they contrast but compliment each other, urging the viewer to look at the pictures as not just pictures, but art. A few of the photographs are in black and white, and others are in color. This variety makes this small book very interesting.
Along with these "friendly photos," there are friendship quotes spattered throughout the book. This book made me feel "warm and fuzzy," and would be a great book to read with young children. Children often see things in ways that adults simply cannot, and viewing Close Friends with a young one you are close to would be a great way to stimulate their imagination.
In the back of the book is a short note of thanks from Vicky Ceelen herself. On the back cover of the book is an "about the author" section, which I found really interesting. Apparently, Vicky Ceelen was the only one of the four children in her family to not take the painters' route. Vicky instead started as a model and later became more interested in photography itself. I'm very glad she did so, because this book has certainly brightened my day!
I found nothing wrong with this book, if you don't count wanting to see more fantastic friends from Vicky Ceelen!