Sweet—but alas, not a three-pea-t.



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)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7660-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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As ephemeral as a valentine.


Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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