|Meg's Mummy, Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski|
This post will have some copyright-violating pictures of double-page spreads. I am showing these for the purposes of review and comment, OK? And I think these are good books, so I could even suggest you buy them.
Let's start with picture books. The two pages of a picture book spread can be used as a single entity or as two. If you use them as a single entity, there is often text on only one side (if there is any text at all).
|What can rabbit hear? Lucy Cousins|
|Mon ami crocodile, Fred Bernard|
This spread contains a surprise set up on the previous spread. To maximise the impact, most of the spread is taken up by a rather cryptic image and the surprise comes right at the end, a single word on the far right.
|Wolves, Emily Gravett|
|Amit az Orrszarvúkról Feltétlenül, Tudni Kell|
But the rule of the spread is notoriously pernicious in non-fiction. The amount of information on a topic is limited by the page design rather than the needs of the reader. Silly, isn't it? A hard topic is not allowed more space than a simple topic because they both have to fit onto the same sized spread.
On this page, Oswald Mosley is given as much space as Hitler!
|Take me back, various authors, DK|
|Volcano, Anne Rooney|
Working spreads are those which you are actually allowed to use as content (as the author). The first working spread is often pages 4-5, with the pages before that used up by gumph (official name 'prelims') such as the title page and perhaps a contents page.
The two pages of a double-page spread (dps) can be referred to as any of these:
In case it's not obvious, v, r refers to verso (=left), recto (=right).
To finish, here is a spread from my favourite picture book which makes supreme use of the double-page spread. Every spread is the same except for the toucan's eye, the beak, and the text. The shape of the die-cut pages, with the two halves of the spread struggling to get apart, embodies the sentiment of the book.
|Le toucan jaloux, Bénédicte Guettier|