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Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color Hardcover – March 15, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this beautifully illustrated picture book, children are introduced to the idea that wild things should be wild. Readers follow the title character, Swatch, as she catches and tames hues. With surrealist imagery and swirling colors, the artwork draws readers in. The message underlying the stunning images asks kids to consider how we should treat wild things. While the text is at times moralizing, the balance of the overall work is excellent. The pace at which the story unfolds is quick enough to keep children's attention while slow enough to beg the pondering of the work's larger themes. The high-quality value and gradation of the color pull children into Swatch's world. While the text at times seems to jump across the page, it generally adds to the tone. This is also a wonderful choice for vocabulary building. The composition and flow allow the pictures to shine, while gently pushing readers forward. VERDICT The gorgeous illustrations are enough to recommend this title, but the sweet message makes it a must-read; a great read-aloud.—Lauren Lancaster, Crafton Public Library, Pittsburgh
“The gorgeous illustrations are enough to recommend this title, but the sweet message makes it a must-read; a great read-aloud.” (School Library Journal)
“Denos’ text is fierce and crisp, her color-characters wondrous...spellbinding.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
Praise for JUST BEING AUDREY: “Denos’ soft pastel illustrations cut just the right Audrey outline (complete with flapping neck scarf), and fans will especially enjoy picking out the movie roles depicted in a two-page spread of costumes.” (Booklist)
Praise for JUST BEING AUDREY: “Audrey Hepburn proves as irresistible a character in the pages of a children’s book as she is in those soigné roles of the silver screen.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top customer reviews
This is the story of a vibrant, fun-loving girl who is a "color tamer" and loves colors, all colors, even the rare ones like "in-between gray" that "lived on her kitten's leg." The colors loved her back. I explained to my daughter that to me this means that the girl is a talented artist and can make beautiful, rich art with vibrant colors. The colors make her art feel alive which is why the colors are given anthropomorphic qualities in this book. Then one day she decides to capture colors in glass jars and fills her room with them except for the elusive Yellowist Yellow. I explained that instead of mixing a perfect color when she was painting to achieve the look she wanted, the girl decides to mix many beautiful colors in jars and surrounds herself with them. The colors are now serving as the inspiration itself for her art. The colors are the art rather than just a means to the end in the art. Yellowist Yellow does not want to live in a jar though, so at the close of the book she releases all of her colors and they join her in creating a masterpiece led by Yellowist Yellow.
Still after we finished the second time my daughter only begrudgingly gave the book a 3 star. I thought it was a 5-star book so we compromised with a 4 star. I guess the moral of this review is that even if you have a color-loving child, this book might not be as well-received as you think. Perhaps this book would be better for a younger child who can just take it on face value or an older child who has better developed abstract thinking. For a first-grader perhaps you should check it out of the library before taking the purchase plunge.