Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai is a children’s book I received for Christmas and I honestly think that most adults would benefit from having it around. Apparently it’s the second of its kind, the first was called, of course, Zoom. I haven’t read the first one and I’ve promised I wouldn’t because I may receive it as a gift in the future. Not a lot of things can stop me from reading a book I want to read, but the possibility of receiving it as a gift may be just enough for me to put it on the bottom of my books to buy list.
Re-Zoom has, with the exception of the title, no words. It’s a series of pictures that with every turn of the page, zooms out to change your perception of where you are and who you’re with. The illustrations are beautiful and take some very creative leaps from place to place. This book was a good reminder for me to keep an open mind about the media used to tell a story. I followed along with the illustrations perfectly and I can’t imagine the addition of words would have any true positive affect on the narrative.
I know a lot of adults, particularly adults without children, either don’t think of reading children’s books or think it’s silly to do so. I disagree. I proudly own and regularly browse through The Complete Tales Of Winnie The Pooh, and when I am around the books I grew up with I can’t help but flip through them to remind myself of the wise lessons they taught. The books written for kids contain all the lessons we think are important for them to remember and adults are notorious for forgetting these lessons. A simple heartwarming story with pretty illustrations is sometimes all a person needs to remember the basics.
Re-Zoom was particularly wonderful because it teaches us to imagine a bigger world. Everything can be zoomed out. There’s almost always a bigger picture and something else going on that can completely turn around your perspective of the situation. This is so important. It’s so easy to get swept up in day to day stresses and problems and forget that ultimately this tragic jam, rude person, or bad coffee is such a small part of your big picture it’s not worth the splat of dark paint. Our world is exactly as big or small as we choose to see it. Re-Zoom reminds us to see the big, beautiful picture.