BLACK-AND-WHITE BLANCHE by Marj Toews

BLACK-AND-WHITE BLANCHE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Young U.S. readers will get the general drift of this import, though more subtle aspects of the Victorian setting and class-conscious subtexts will probably elude them. Because the Queen wears only black and white, Mr. Weatherspoon has decreed that everyone in his household shall do the same. Chafing at this limitation and mad for something pink, little Blanche brings home roses and a colorful dress. After those are instantly discarded, she runs away to help a friendly flower seller. Tending toward several small, crowded scenes per page, the illustrations show the Weatherspoons and their several servants outfitted in stiff, elaborately tucked and ruffled period dress. Everyone’s slightly exaggerated hairdo and expressions lend the episode a faintly farcical air. In the end, Blanche is found and, thanks to the relieved Mr. Weatherspoon, not only is the flower seller happily ensconced in a new shop, but all of the Weatherspoons are soon sporting dainty, nearly invisible dashes of sartorial color. Next to the likes of Emily Jenkins’s Daffodil, illustrated by Tomek Bogacki (2004), this comes off as precious, but there’s a readership for that, too. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-55005-132-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2006