After tackling the alphabet and numbers in two previous excursions (LMNO Peas, 2013; 1-2-3 Peas, 2012), Baker’s winsome legumes return for a third ap-pea-rance, exploring nine colors.
Seven hues—blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple and silver—garner two double-page spreads each. The first spread establishes the color-redolent context; the second locates those inimitable peas within the color’s established landscape. “B-L-U-E” towers in large, digitally rendered letters afloat on pale, stylized waves near a few sailboats. Sea stars cling to the “U,” while three peas display semaphore flags. A page turn reveals an ocean liner cruising past a sandy isle, where some 40 peas sunbathe, paint pictures, lift weights, hunt for treasure and more. One charming spread glows green: A stringed trellis supports “Green vines, / green leaves, / green sprouts, and… // baby green peas!” (Those babes in pods are adorable.) The “Silver” spreads contain large stacks of coins and a castle, complete with royal peas, distracted tower guards, a Rapunzel pea with long green locks, and even a gray, ghostly pea. The last color spread features both white and black—an appreciated twist in books about color concepts. While appealing, this doesn’t quite measure up to Baker’s earlier outings. The text is sparse and sometimes reads awkwardly. Too many of the spreads are under-pea-pulated, resulting in low exuberance levels.
Sweet—but alas, not a three-pea-t. (Picture book. 3-7)