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MY WORLD OF COLOR by Margaret Wise Brown


by Margaret Wise Brown & illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7868-0605-2
Publisher: Hyperion

When painter mouse and his young apprentice leave their castle to explore, they touch, smell, and observe, immersing themselves in the experience, and then wield their paintbrushes to capture some of the colors they find. “Pink as pigs / Pink as toes / Pink as a rose / Or a rabbit’s nose.” They see orange trees and setting sun, or yellow daisies and cabbage butterflies in busily detailed paintings that luxuriantly cross two-page spreads. The mice look with wonder at the beauty around them, and finally, after traveling in a teacup, hiding in the greenest ferns, and sketching from a birdhouse, the apprentice mouse stands triumphant, grasping paint-soaked brushes: “Now I can color!” In a closing summary, a few of the paintings included were not involved in the mice’s visual adventure, but were added to enable the rhyme. The mice are satisfied with their romp through colors; at last, back in their cozy castle, the two gaze up at their own artwork now framed and hung for their enjoyment. Not as satisfying are the illustrations themselves. Background colors—yellows, greens, and purples—don’t work with the rest of the art. Crowded scenes and the overdressed animals’ frills, buttons, and bows, though painted with a skilled hand, detract from Brown’s simple rhythms, compelling onomatopoeia, and perfect rhymes. Stealing the spotlight in this way weakens rather than complements the text, resulting in an awkward mix of art and literature. (Picture book. 3-5)