A big brother helps his little sister calm down.
The cover art depicts the first-person narrator, a little boy of color with brown skin and curly black hair, looking at a red-furred monster sticking out its tongue. The front endpapers then depict a broken blue crayon on top of scribbled lines in warm hues on a blue background. Turn to the title page, and the narrator holds a pile of furry-looking things in reddish, yellow, and green hues while blue hands reach toward him from the right. The first spread with text then shows the boy looking wide-eyed at readers while seated at an art table. A red, spiky mass covers the bottom of the spread, which is supposed to represent Allie (or rather, the top of Allie’s head), in a rage after her crayon breaks. These crucial spreads are difficult to follow, and it will take concrete little thinkers some time to come to understand that Allie did not look like this prior to the beginning of the book. Instead, the book starts with the monstrous image, and Reul uses expressive color to indicate Allie’s rage as she pitches a fit in the form of the red monster. She literally sheds her red skin and shifts colors to yellow, then green, then blue as her big brother tries various calming techniques. Finally, she emerges as a little girl of color by book’s end, and she requests a hug.
A metaphorical miss. (Picture book. 2-4)