ROSIE & CRAYON by Deborah Marcero


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Rosie’s world turns gray when her dog passes away, but friendship and color bloom again when she helps reunite another child with a lost cat.

Crayon the dog fills Rosie’s world with delight. Everything seems brighter, bolder, deeper with her best pal. Together the little dog and brown-complexioned girl (both have tightly curled hair, the dog’s white and the girl’s black) traverse the seasons and their accompanying hues—jumping in leaves, sledding, and camping under a starry sky—until Crayon dies. Spreads become overcast, mirroring Rosie’s emotions, as she closes up her heart. A lost-cat search wakens the puff-pigtailed girl, and upon finding the feline, the child lets herself remember her dog. As colors pour forth, Rosie realizes her “heart didn’t break (like she thought it would). Rather… / …it felt wider—taller—deeper than it had ever felt before.” Digital artwork done in a primary palette explores pattern and texture. And the artist’s simple linework is skillful, offering an appealing character across a range of perspectives, actions, and framings; however, the illustrations often feel like a smartly-filled coloring book. The decision not to use crayon or ink textures matching the pets’ names (Crayon and Inky) seems a missed opportunity. Marcero’s text is the real star, as she delves into a difficult topic with lush descriptions and empathy. Thoughtful endpapers round out the story, as readers are comforted by Rosie’s healing process.

A good addition to the loss-of-a-pet bookshelf. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4413-2287-6
Page count: 34pp
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2017


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