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COLORS by Shelley Rotner Kirkus Star


by Shelley Rotner & Anne Woodhull ; photographed by Shelley Rotner

Pub Date: July 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4063-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Explore colors through photographs.

Detailed in succinct, subtly poetic text, the six core spectrum colors plus black and white each receive two full-bleed double-page spreads in a row. Each color’s initial spread names it and assigns it a verb—“green hops”—across from a checkerboard of many shades of that color, with a photograph replacing one square. For green, that square is a frog photo. Green’s second spread presents text inside a rectangle—“Green grass grows. Green peppers, leaves and peas. Lizards and limes, green eyes”—and varying sizes of rectangular, close-up photos. Neat green borders glue the photo rectangles together, leaving no white space. Other colors follow the same format. The verbs don’t connect to their hues inherently—“blue floats” mightn’t work out of context—but the black girl in the turquoise swimsuit floating blissfully in blue water provides all the sense in the world. Rotner’s photographs are crisp, glowing, and crystal clear, bursting with nature and joy, making daily objects gorgeous. A yellow slicker and a sunny-side up egg positively glisten; an orange sunset almost requires sunglasses. The children (a multiracial cast) vary between facing the camera and doing their own thing, like blowing up a purple balloon or licking an orange Popsicle.

There are plenty of picture books about colors, but they’re not all love letters. This one is.

(Picture book. 2-5)