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LIVING COLOR by Steve Jenkins


by Steve Jenkins & illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-70897-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Color becomes the organizing factor in this new exploration of the quirks of the animal world. Red, for instance, warns predators away from stonefish and chiggers, provides protective coloration for the deep-sea jellyfish and blood-red fire shrimp and establishes bragging rights for male hooded seals and white uakaris. Color by color, gorgeous collages against clean white backgrounds are accompanied by playful typography and cool factoids (did you know that sloths enjoy a greenish hue lent by algae growing in their fur?). Jenkins’s design, always striking, reaches the heights of inspiration with this offering, as when the color-changing cuttlefish appears half on the yellow page and continues through the turn onto the green page, a sly trick repeated with the chameleon. It’s a smorgasbord approach that does not seek to make connections beyond color, but rather to astonish the reader with the range of colors and adaptations found in the natural world. Extra facts about coloration and thumbnails providing basic information about each animal depicted make up the backmatter of this volume, which is guaranteed to be a browser’s delight. (Nonfiction. 4-8)