Shortlisted - Bologna Prize 2016

Heads and Tails

Heads and Tails - forthcoming title in 2017

It is not an overstatement to claim that Heads and Tails (written and illustrated by John Canty) is a modern landmark in children’s picture books.   Leveraging the natural and universal fascination that children have with animals, the book utilises hints and recognition to build a sense of anticipation on each page, that is resolved on the following page when the identity of the animal is discovered.

Heads and Tails employs simple but stunning water colours and line art that increase in detail as the animal is revealed.

Young readers are engaged in the process of deduction by drawing on visual prompts and clues such as where an animal may live, what the animal may look like and sounds the animal makes.  The effect is that each page presents an engaging yet accessible mini mystery for the child to solve.   Accordingly, the young reader’s inevitable participation in the process of discovery is ensures the book’s enjoyment.

The tempo and sense of anticipation of Heads and Tails is in a similar tradition to Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr’s iconic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Head and Tails is sure to be an instant classic.


Ages 3 -6 years