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A wordless book of captivating optical illusions

Whose Zoo?

Geert Vervaeke

An animal inside an animal inside an animal. Nothing is as it seems in this wordless look-and-find book. Geert Vervaeke plays masterfully with perspectives, compositions and positive and negative space. The book is one big optical illusion. Whichever way you look at it – and the idea is for you to look in as many different ways as possible – this book is full of surprises and there’s always something new to discover. Ingeniously hidden animals keep popping up all over the place. A tiger’s tail turns out to be a snake’s head. There’s a sloth inside the tiger’s mouth. And dolphins are swimming through the squirrel’s fur. At the back, there’s a kind of index with a big illustration of all the animals that appear in the book.

This Flemish illustrator uses the power of simplicity and repetition.
Jury Zilveren Penseel 2010 on 'A Very Special Christmas'

‘Whose Zoo?’ was prompted by Vervaeke’s fascination with animals and with the monotype technique. All the illustrations were cut out of thick card, then coloured with black printer’s ink and printed on paper. This time-consuming manual technique has resulted in intriguing illustrations with a certain degree of abstraction. Vervaeke’s sources of inspiration for this graphic discovery book in black and white were the Rorschach test and optical illusions.

With her beautifully simple illustrations, Geert Vervaeke sketches a world of contrasts that feels like a warm blanket.
Jury Zilveren Penseel 2010 on 'A Very Special Christmas'
Book Trailer 'Whose Zoo?'