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SUMMER COLOR! by Diana Murray


by Diana Murray ; illustrated by Zoe Persico

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-316-37094-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

An extended family gathers on the porch of a country home to enjoy cool lemonade and time together on a hot summer day.

Two kids run off to gleefully explore the colorful countryside. However, when a sudden summer storm pops up, they must race home to avoid being caught in the downpour. While many first concept books that teach colors use a repetitive format (simply introducing objects and their corresponding colors without much emphasis on story), this book weaves color into an already engaging plot. The pace of the rhyming text perfectly matches the action; it meanders a bit as the family members arrive and greet one another in the hot sun and then quickens as the storm approaches. Both text and illustrations are celebratory of rural life in general; the mentions of peaches and egrets call to mind the southeastern United States specifically. The full-bleed illustrations are lively and saturated. They neatly depict the menacing darkness that takes over the sky with the arrival of a summer storm without becoming scary. However, the exact relationships of the characters depicted are unclear at times (there are three children, so why do two leave one behind?), which unfortunately confuses the text rather than enhancing it. Still, the book is well-crafted and appealing, and the conscientious attention to diversity in both race and family structure makes it noteworthy.

A chipper frolic through nature’s colorful palette.

(Picture book. 3-7)