In a style resembling a creation myth, Guertin describes how animals got their colors.
A quasi-biblical downpour concludes with a shimmering rainbow, which imparts color to all the animals in its path. The language is poetic: “The fish in the ocean waters glinted silver, violet, and aquamarine. The yellow duck paddled in the sapphire blue of the pond. And the red fox scurried through the amber forest.” Great Bird, ruler of the bird kingdom, begs Rainbow to color him, and “with one swift kiss, she turned Great Bird from gray to shimmering gold.” All the other birds jostle to be colored by the rainbow. One by one, Parrot, Cardinal, Blue Jay, Canary, and all the other birds are appropriately colored. As the colors begin to run out, Great Bird notices a small Gouldian finch (a rare Australian finch) who is still uncolored. It turns out the finch was too polite and waited too long, until the colors had been given to the more acquisitive fowl. Rainbow’s solution? With their agreement, she gathers a splash of color from each of the birds, and Gouldian Finch is magically transformed into his true rainbow-colored splendor. Pérez García adopts a folk-art style to complement the story, which is based on a Belgian folk tale, flat perspectives and stylized shapes evoking European decorative motifs.
An imaginative chromatic fantasy with an altruistic conclusion. (Picture book. 4-8)