Books by April Wilson

Released: March 1, 1999

Deliberately constructed, Wilson's wordless picture book makes an adroit and whimsical artistic statement and invites audience participation. On the title page, a child's hands reach toward a bundle of colored pencils dangling from a branch; the pencils are in bright colors but everything else is sketched in black and white. In careful detail, the child draws a magpie seen on a branch outside the window (perhaps the same branch where the pencils were hung) and when the drawing is completed, the bird flies away from the paper. The child draws cherries, shimmering red on the page, and the bird eats them; the child draws an orange balloon, which the bird pops. Things get a little dangerous when the bird grabs a piece of yellow that sets the page afire and then scribbles blue water that makes a mess. Drawings and events co-determine each other: the child has cages the magpie, the bird grabs the eraser through the bars and escapes the cage, and so it goes, to a last laugh when a claw seizes the pencils and makes a brilliant rainbow of feathers. The only words are the names of the colors, appearing at the end. The realistic drawing style and the use of saturated color on an otherwise black-and-white page are an arresting combination. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >