White and Page introduce a variety of animals in this playful informational picture book.
Each color is allotted two double-page spreads, citing four animals that eat a particular color of food before naming a fifth that does not: “Who eats orange?” Rabbits and chickens do. “Who else eats orange? / Goats. // Pigs. / Gorillas too. Gorillas? No! Gorillas don’t eat orange. They eat….” That fifth animal acts as a transition to the next color and set of animals: “[Gorillas eat] Green. Who else eats green? / Giraffes in savannas do.” Observant readers will note that most animals in a color grouping are from a particular habitat, and the fifth animal is always the exception. Page’s digitally rendered illustrations are realistic and inviting, with each animal featured against a stark white background, staring out at readers. White’s text doesn’t name the foods, only the animals and colors, leaving space for readers or listeners to independently interpret the illustrations. The repetition in White’s text encourages pattern recognition and sets readers up for engaging surprises. Organized by color/habitat, a double-page spread of backmatter gives further details on both the animals and foods highlighted. Habitats include ocean, forest, rainforest, tundra, farm, and, unfortunately, the broad continent of Africa. The inclusion of Africa rather than another habitat or biome perpetuates the common idea that the African continent is monolithic, with interchangeable countries and, in this case, a consistent habitat. In another notable misstep, among the red foods eaten by ocean creatures is a bright-red lobster—a color displayed only after they are cooked.
An engaging if disappointingly imperfect introduction to animals and (some of) the foods they eat. (Informational picture book. 5-8)