Picture book of the week: Before & After by Jean Jullien

Before & After is a unique and playful board book created by illustrator Jean Jullien.  It’s published by Phaidon on 13 March 2017 (RRP £8.95) and is suitable for children aged 2-4 but can be enjoyed by older kids and parents alike.

book before & after cover

Before & After can actually be seen as the first humour book a child gets to explore in her lifetime and challenges her to creative thinking around everyday objects and situations. Jullien uses bold graphics to depict a series of familiar, humorous and surprising motifs of ‘before-and-after’ scenarios. They are funny, ironic and yet very easy for a toddler to understand. This is the author’s second book after the critically acclaimed This is Not a Book was published with groundbreaking success last year.

book before & after cat 1

book before & after cat 2

Before & After invites readers to use their imagination while anticipating and surprising themselves with clever reveals. With every page turn, the children can narrate the stories themselves to suit a range of clever and humorous outcomes. Jullien creates the perfect balance of predictability and unexpectedness; from pale skin to sunburned skin, dirty to clean, long hair to short hair (to long again!), these scenarios captivate readers as they flip back and forth.

The bright, engaging illustrations and thick, sturdy pages are perfect for pre-readers to learn, play and hold themselves. Amaze and delight with the surprising double-gatefold opening to create a four-frame sequence, telling the before, after and even the in between!

book before & after kids 1

book before & after kids 2

book before & after kids 3


Jean Jullien is a popular French graphic designer whose practice ranges from illustration, photography, and video animation, to costumes, books, posters, and clothing. His clients include the New York Times, Guardian, Tate, Channel 4, Nike, BMW, and Colette. He is based in London where he lives with his wife and new baby. 

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