“This book is RED,” says the cover of the picture book, except the word “RED” happens to be the color violet.
The Australian import follows a pattern familiar to readers of other books in the Books That Drive Kids Crazy! series. The narrator begins by trying to convince young readers that the different colors in the book—as represented by the green frog, the black-and-white penguin, and the red rose, among others—are all red. The blurb on the back cover goes so far as to enlist the help of adults to “convince the nearest kid that everything in this book is actually red. And we mean everything,” which makes the book a fun endeavor for adult and child alike. The design, too, is much like the other books in the series: most versos consist of a solid color that makes up the background, overlaid with bold text, and there’s a white page opposite them. Each white page has an object or two on it, which the narrator invariably insists is red. The Stantons’ narrative is witty, silly, and interactive. The circuitous logic adds to the hilarity of the situation. For instance, the page with the penguin holding a rose reads “Roses are red. So Rose the penguin is red. Are you calling me a liar?” The book finally ends with a play on the words “red” and “read,” if only to prove that the narrator was right all along.
A rollicking read for children and adults alike. (Picture book. 4-8)