Following Opuestos (2009), Weill introduces colors with mixed success in the latest book in her bilingual First Concepts with Mexican Folk Art series.
Using animals handcrafted by Oaxacan artisans, the author showcases 14 different colors, from typical primary and secondary colors to neutrals and metallics. The book presents young readers to a few colors (such as turquoise, gray, gold and silver) not found in most color concept books. Two pages are dedicated to each color; English and Spanish words for the color are on the left page, faced by one or more animal artworks on the opposite. Made from wood, ceramic, tin or papier-mâché, the featured animals range from ordinary giraffes and polar bears to fantastical winged creatures. While the folk art in the other books in the series popped from pages of contrasting colors, the animals here fade into backgrounds too similar to their representative colors. In some cases, this design decision merely lessens the beauty of the unique, colorful objects. In other instances, the various tints and shades may confuse young readers; purple wooden rabbits look almost black, and a band of ceramic animal musicians appear tan on their brown page. The last page presents a gorgeous pair of multicolored pigs.
Even with its design flaws, the book remains a good choice for bilingual storytimes and conversations about color. (Picture book. 3-7)