February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle & others | SLJ Review

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redstarCARLE, Eric & others. What’s Your Favorite Color? illus. by Eric Carle & others. 40p. Holt. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805096149.

STAR-PB-Carle-WhatsYourFavoriteColorPreS-Gr 2 –Carle and 14 other picture book artists share their favorite colors through memories, poems, and child-friendly snippets in this collection of testimonials. Despite the emphasis on the visuals, text and illustrations in each spread are equally strong. From Philip C. Stead’s gentle ode to the many shades of green to Jill McElmurry’s tactile imagining of a cool black garden, the entries each offer different perspectives. A few contributors provide insight into the artistic process by speaking to the properties of the colors they admire. Carle loves “the challenge” of yellow, which muddies immediately if mixed with another color. Melissa Sweet lauds the many moods of the color gray, while Rafael López appreciates the way in which the hue works in harmony with other colors. Other artists express simple statements of affection that will resonate with child audiences. Mike Curato’s joyous illustration of a raccoon holding a cone piled high with ice cream that’s his favorite color, mint (as in mint chocolate chip), is a unique take that will get budding artists thinking outside the box. Though the focus is on individual colors, the illustrations are far from monochromatic. Carle’s bright yellow sun smiling on a white background is more the exception than the rule: William Low’s busy Bronx streets glow with myriad tans, beiges, and deep chocolates of brick buildings, and Lauren Castillo’s thick oil paints depict a tangible frosting of white snow over the deep greens and blues of a forest night scene. VERDICT A creative collection to savor one-on-one or to spark classroom art and writing exercises.–­Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MN

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2017 issue.

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