From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-In this creative exploration of color, Paschkis's full-page gouache illustrations of animals are brimming with vibrant and unexpected hues: an orange giraffe, a pink cat, a blue turtle. Larios's poems are, for the most part, fresh offerings of alliteration, rhyme, and gentle surprises. Some pairings are more successful than others. Red Donkey, Silver Gull, and Gold Finch are the strongest, most imaginative poems in the book, with superb illustration and engaging poetic qualities. While the artwork for the surprisingly unsurprising White Owl is eye-catching, the poem itself doesn't hold the same charm that one finds in other verses. Brown Mouse, too, lacks verve and whimsy. The book design is simple and effective: one page is devoted to the poem itself with words against a white background and a rectangular sidebar illustration to match the full-page picture opposite. There's no question that this is a visually stimulating and interesting book, thanks especially to Paschkis's folk art, which seems to be largely inspired by South American and African cultural styles. Not all of the poems are as strong, but the ones that rise above are a sheer delight.-Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. From "a green frog / on a green lily pad" to a "gray mama goose" and her "gold baby," the animals featured in these well-crafted poems flash with color and emotion. Each spread features a picture of a brightly hued animal, and Larios' rhythms and sounds skillfully reinforce the memorable, evocative images. Lines about a white owl echo the rush of winter wind in a quiet forest: "Who flies over white ice? / Who? /
And over white snow?" In "Blue Turtle," the lines bring the cool, shadowy world of the creeping creature close: "Slow / in the blue shade / of a blue-leafed garden. / Slow." And the open-mouthed sounds of "Pink Kitty" reinforce the meaning in a description of a cat's "pink yawn at dawn." Together with Paschkis' vibrant, patterned, gouache paintings, the poems beautifully show how color and sound create mood and imagery, and they will encourage children to notice how changing light and motion make everything different: "One hop / and her green / is gone. / See how she swims, / blue frog now / under blue water." Pair this with Mary O'Neill's classic Hailstones and Halibut Bones
(1961) for more poems about color. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved