It's a shame that an examination of colors can feel so drab.
Chester Raccoon (The Kissing Hand, 1993) explores a rainbow of hues found in the great outdoors. Examples (red apple, brown caterpillar) are often small and difficult to discern against the wooded backdrop; the effort would benefit from a more dynamic design geared to the toddling set. Beginning and ending with the color white, the slight tale moves spread by spread through each featured hue. The name of each color is bolded within the text, but does not otherwise stand out from the rest of the black-on-white print. Each object is named within the verse, which often suffers from the necessity of making meter and rhyme. “School's Owl Teacher / Plays while she sings / ‘See the orange butterfly / Open its wings!’ ” A final call for audience participation falls flat. “You can play too! / You can play day or night. / Find Chester's colors / Beginning with WHITE.” Though the head-on view of Chester's friend Badger hunkered down to go eye to eye with the caterpillar is appealing, too often Chester's expression is fixedly cheerful, and the body language does not vary enough.
Without developed visual characterization or effective demonstration of concept, it's best to kiss this one goodbye. (Board book. 1-3)