Richard Scarry’s iconic characters present nine different colors.
Huckle the cat paints a picture in the featured hue on each of the double-page spreads. Accompanying Huckle are other objects of the same color, like the lettuce, peas and asparagus on the “green” page. Several Busytown characters make cameo appearances driving wacky vehicles, such as Lowly Worm in his red Applecar and Mr. Fixit operating an orange bulldozer. While many of Scarry’s dated references have been avoided, the inclusion of Wild Bill Hiccup wearing a Native American headdress and driving a brown Buffalomobile may trouble 21st-century grown-up readers. An unseen narrator captions the various objects and praises Huckle’s artistic abilities as the cat paints a yellow sun, blueberries and purple grapes. Tabbed labels at the top of the book include a nice range of colors, including pink, gray and brown. A companion title, Let’s Count with Lowly!, follows the same format, but here, numerals and dots for counting index the double-page spread for each number. Starting with the numeral 1 on the cover, Lowly invites readers, along with his friend Huckle, to count various characters, objects and vehicles. The layout in this offering is overly busy, and, unlike most of Scarry’s original titles, the smaller trim size does not give the seven marching band drummers, eight tuba players and more room to breathe.
While many will welcome concept books with Richard Scarry art, are these rehashed offerings really necessary with so many of his classics still in print? (Board book. 2-4)