Look Up! by Jung Jin-Ho
When perusing my book shelves, I noted a slim little spine, crammed in a mass of book galleys, way up high on the shelf. I was curious. What was that little yellow sliver wedged between so many mammoth-sized volumes? I pulled it out for closer inspection.
Look Up! is Korean author and illustrator Jung Jin-Ho’s tiny treatise on perspective and the power of point of view.
Using simple black line drawings, readers are invited into the street from an unusual vantage point, a birds-eye view of a terrace overlooking a city street. An initial spread reveals feet placed on the footrests of a wheelchair. The occupant of the wheelchair appears to be gazing on the scene below. As time passes and activity takes place in the street, the lone observer leans over the edge of the roof imploring, "Look up!" "Look up!" "I'm here! Look at me!"
Finally a passerby does indeed look up. He calls to the girl peering down from above. She explains that she can't come down and that she can only see the tops of heads. The boy offers her another perspective. He lies down on the cobblestones below so that she can view him in his entirety. Soon others join, lying horizontally and offering the girl in the wheelchair a new view. As other bodies take this supine position, the strictly black and white landscape makes a subtle change: trees begin to blossom in shades of pink. A bicyclist rides by, sporting a bouquet of colorful balloons. And on top of the roof, a potted plant begins to sprout tender green leaves.