Michael’s mother informs him that it is time to get dressed, but he has other ideas.
The caramel-hued, rosy-cheeked preschooler with gingerbread curls and mischievous chocolate-brown eyes chooses to clothe his small dog, Maggie, instead of himself. This early concept book focuses on the colors of the shoes, hats, caps, and socks he puts on the dog. With her trademark style of jewel-toned dyed–paper-pulp paintings, Caldecott Honoree Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993) elevates this everyday activity. Through her soft, felted lines, readers share the comforting contours of Maggie curled up asleep as well as the pleased, overdressed pup reaching up for a kiss. Care has been taken in the typeface choices to echo the soft edges created by the images, and in the text, the colors’ names are highlighted in the corresponding hues and set in a separate, painterly type. The limited language and patterned repetition (“Look, Maggie—socks. Yellow socks”) make this text accessible to beginning readers as well as enjoyable as a participatory read-aloud. Visual humor abounds. Readers’ view of Michael’s mom is of the hem of her stylish, flowered below-the-knee skirt, bare ankles, and ballet flats rushing past the doorway. A marmalade tiger cat and baby sibling watch all of the action from the background, and observant readers will enjoy their Easter-egg feature on the back cover.
The joyful celebration of common activity radiates from every page. (Picture book. 2-6)