Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Richard Lo ; illustrated by Richard Lo

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4371-0
Publisher: Holiday House

A color-concept book with a bilingual, cultural twist.

Chinese New Year gets a daring new look. A single color dominates a complete page spread. On recto, the name of the featured color in English is displayed on a white background while both the traditional Chinese characters and a romanized rendition, complete with accent marks, appear below in an inverse color scheme. A single cultural object related to Chinese New Year fully occupies the right. Here Lo’s talents shine with his renderings. The composition is simple, with the object sitting solo, centered within the line of sight. Artistic liberties are tastefully taken, with the object portrayed in a singular color that is occasionally contrary to tradition. Yet no embellishments are lost in the deceptively spare composition. This is best observed on the portrait of the teapot. Lo makes sure that no flower, leaf, or curly twirl of its details is omitted. The objects seem to pop due to the skilled shading and tricks of perspective. The background itself teems with textures, with occasional splatters of paint, bleeding edges, and blooms of watercolor that unevenly occupy the space. Vocabulary-wise, the only outlier is the use of the word “Cerulean” instead of “light blue,” which may require an explanation. A guide describing each object follows.

Bright and bold, this will certainly catch the eye of every reader.

(Picture book 2-5)