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Look! What Do You See?: An Art Puzzle Book of American and Chinese Songs
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Look! What Do You See?: An Art Puzzle Book of American and Chinese Songs

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A puzzle, a work of art, and a collection of classic American songs, all in an innovative book by one of the world's foremost contemporary artists.

Every page of this book is filled with secret code. It seems like Chinese calligraphy, but it's not. It seems like you can't read it, but you can. Once the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place, you will understand it a
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  77 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a picture book for the older crowd. My 9- and 12-year-old have been poring over it, deciphering the special code that looks like Chinese characters but is actually quite readable by any competent reader. They've also been trying to write in the code. Highly recommended, not for read-aloud, but for kids to use their brains in new ways. ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
This book is cool and makes my head hurt at the same time! It is a puzzle. It looks like Chinese characters but it is English words done in a creative calligraphy style.
Once you are in the rhythm it works. Plus! the first in the books are words to American Folks songs.

So "America the Beautiful" and "O Susannah" you can sing a long in your head because you know the words and don't have to kill your eyes to decipher!

It took me a long time to read this... because it is difficult. I wouldn't even
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I love the illustrations, and the beauty of the square wood calligraphy in Chinese in this puzzle book. That is such a beautiful, unique element to this book. I like that it's a challenge to try and decode the mix of both American & Chinese folksongs that are both written in Chinese. Some of the illustrations give away what the song is, but some don't. I'm not sure that it would hold attention spans for long. It's hard to decode the puzzle on what the lyrics are. There is a key in the back of th ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bing created a clever way to write words called 'square word calligraphy' (do a search!). There are text books and workbooks, and now a children's book with American folklore songs and a few Chinese words. I figured out quickly how to read the words (and identify the songs), but didn't realize that there is a definite structure.
A very original puzzle book, and I love that he used American songs that all children should know!
Pages have a brown background, as if the calligraphy is done on special
Connie T.
I was attracted to this book's use of what looks like Chinese calligraphy to write in code. Using song lyrics as the text makes it easier to decode the messages but once you figure out which song it is, there isn't much incentive to decode all the words. The use of song lyrics also adds to a feeling of repetition, taking away the fun and challenge of deciphering a code. I think it would have been more engaging (but also more difficult) if there was a plot or story line to decipher and engage the ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A calligraphy book, a song book, a puzzle book.

The songs in this book are printed in Square Word Calligraphy created by Xu Bing.
It includes a page "how to write your own square word calligraphy."
With the 'format,' liberties are taken, so additional resources might be needed
to learn how to fit large words into that square.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Hmmm. I'm not sure what the point of this is? Some of the songs are immediately identifiable just from the illustrations, while others had my scratching my head for a few minutes. But...what is a child supposed to take away from this? ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
The illustrations here are beautiful, and it's fun to see the American folk songs and then the Chinese ones. I think I knew 11 of the 12 American ones.

Even knowing how the code works, some of the words are a bit tricky.
The Transmuted Tree
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Red 2nd
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is neat. My friend had to help me but once I got it...! Fascinating & unique concept.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: makercart
Square letter calligraphy that depicts codes of classic children's songs (American and Chinese). Engaging puzzle text that could be good for a STEM activity. Gr. 2-5. ...more
Rowena Aldridge
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. Requires familiarity with traditional American folk songs.
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Fun for all ages
What a unique book. It was fun although easy for me. Might be great fun for music teachers.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was ridiculously harder than I thought it would be.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Terrific artist.
Not so terrific picturebook.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the challenge of the puzzle words in this picture book!
Edward Sullivan
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful art but otherwise unsuccessful.
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2017
Linsey Taylor
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2018
Tori Sachtleben
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2017
Mary Hamer
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2018
rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2018
Katherine McCarthy
rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2019
rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2020
Michelle Angell
rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2018
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Xu Bing is a Chinese-born artist who lived in the United States for eighteen years. Currently residing in Beijing, he used to serve as the vice-president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is most known for his printmaking skills and installations pieces, as well as his creative artistic use of language, words, and text and how they have affected our understanding of the world.

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