WAKE UP, COLOR PUP by Taia Morley


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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A dog frolics with colors.

A white dog sleeps in an empty black room. The nubbly texture of the black floor and gray carpet match the nubbly texture of the dog’s poodle-like fur. From the window, yellow light streams onto the black floor, and a barely visible yellow bird—or perhaps an unseen narrative voice—calls, “Wake up, little pup.” The dog emerges outside, and everything’s yellow: landscape, sun, the bird’s swirling flight path. Each spread highlights a new color, in spectrum sequence—yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green—a brief phrase introducing the color (set in all-caps) so they rhyme. Visually, each color makes its way onto the dog’s fur, joining the previous colors there. The colors move along the dog’s fur, staying in spectrum sequence, until barely any white remains. A storm upsets both mood and color, at first dismayingly, but everything will be well. Morley’s cheerful illustrations are both soft and bright, the rainbow hues melding amiably into one another with dotted, nubbly transitions. However, the text is bumpy. While the verbs are playful—“leap, lunge”—the rhyme often takes liberties (“circle. / PURPLE”), and the scansion is sometimes abysmal, requiring incorrect syllable emphases (“Out we go! / YELLOW”) or plunking down a rhyme with no rhythmic path leading to it (“Sniff, wade, splash through. / BLUE”). A few lines do scan and rhyme well across page turns: “Shiver, huddle, stay. / GRAY // Whisper, nudge. Look! PLAY!”

A sumptuous visual delight for all fans of pups and rainbows, with stumbling text. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-399-55945-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2018


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