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Look! What Do You See?

Look! What Do You See?

An Art Puzzle Book of American and Chinese Songs

Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander


Look! What Do You See?

About the Book

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 all. And some of it may even strike you as strangely familiar . . . 

Twelve traditional American songs, such as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "Yankee Doodle," as well as five classic songs from Chinese culture, are written here in artist Xu Bing's unique "square word calligraphy," which uses one-block words made of English letters. From a distance, these pieces are beautiful but unintelligible art. Up close, they are a mystery just waiting to be solved—like the fine art version of "Magic Eye."

For readers ages 7 and up, Look! What Do You See? is perfect for long car rides or coded notes to friends. Incredibly intricate and visually engaging, this is a book that children and adults will return to again and again.

Product Details

On sale: November 7, 2017
Age: 7-10 years
Grade: Grades 2-5
Page count: 48 Pages
ISBN: 9780451473776

Author Bio

Xu Bing is one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists. Born in China, he lived in the U.S. for eighteen years and now resides in Beijing. He was the vice president of China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and has received an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters by Columbia University, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, and many other international awards. Some of his best-known works include the Phoenix Project and Book from the Sky. He is frequently in the United States and has a studio and permanent residency in Brooklyn.
Becca Stadtlander is a freelance illustrator and fine artist, inspired by the beauty of everyday objects, the comforts of home, and the lush colors and landscapes of far-off places. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA 2010) and currently lives and works in her hometown of Covington, Kentucky. Her work is featured on stationery, home decor products, editorial publications, and young adult and children’s books.


"A rather ingenious optical game."--The New York Times

"Hushed and beautiful. . . . As artful as it is refreshing."--The Wall Street Journal

* "Wow! This cross-cultural cipher is a feast for the eyes and a challenge for the mind."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Once readers get the hang of it, guessing the other songs isn’t too difficult, but it’s plenty rewarding."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"When it comes to calligraphy puzzles, few have Xu Bing’s creativity beat."--Reader's Digest

"Look! is both a fantastic puzzle and a new language for young readers to delve into."--Shelf Awareness

"Ingenious. . . . Cipher fans should be very intrigued and eager to try it for themselves."--School Library Journal

Selected for the Children's Literature Assembly's 2018 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award Books

Selected for the 2018 CCBC Choices List

A Junior Library Guild selection

2018 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award