what came first? …a gorgeous book to chat about with preschoolers

before after cover imageBefore After, by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Arégui
published in France, 2013
first US edition 2014 by Candlewick Press

I’ll just start right off and say: I am utterly smitten with this book! (I may have even hugged it.)

I am highly recommending you check it out.

Look at that gorgeous cover. Even the front and back covers hold before-and-afters. 

Inside are 176 pages of swoon-worthy design flowing across creamy pages. It’s art that children and adults will equally admire.

ramstein aregui before after illustration3

There are no words. Just pairs of images to make you think: What is the connection between these? How does this, follow this? Must it always follow?


Some are easy-pie ones like a towering, delectable cake on the left, and then on the right, a cake plate with just one scrumptious slice left. Plus crumbs. Hmm! What happened here?!

ramstein aregui before after illustration2

Some are trickier. Like this: 

before after ramstein aregui illustration5

Some are double pages or sequences of pages or have an intriguing connection point to the next set.

You could snuggle up and chat with your preschool child about these pages for hours. Or your kids can look and re-look at this book on their own and find all kinds of interesting connections.

before after ramstein aregui illustration4

As a bonus — you can finally find out which came first: the chicken or the egg!

This is brilliant stuff. Don’t miss it.