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 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014


While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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