A bold, graphic and tactile introduction to colors.
On the thicker-than-normal board pages, part of the page is cut away to create a shaped indentation. Glued to the facing page is part or all of the positive space that was cut from the other side. On the first spread, a red, raised apple is fixed to the left-hand page. The right side features the inside of the apple, which is evoked by the apple-shaped indentation with two seeds floating in the center. This inventive format works its way through the other hues, one of the most clever being a blue submarine paired with a submarine-shaped, white whale indentation. The minimal text simply labels one color per page. The last double-page spread features a collection of balloons that mesh with an artist’s palette on the facing page as the text asks, “So many colors! Which one is your favorite?” Using strong shades and solid and white backgrounds, Deneux’s style is clean, clear and graphically appealing. The companion title, Opposites (978-1-4521-1725-6), uses the same format, but the technique of matching negative and positive space is even more apropos here. Prime examples are the “empty” and “full” fishbowl and the “heavy” elephant paired with a “light” elephant-shaped cloud. Compromising the usefulness of both titles is the legal warning on the back of both books that states that it is not for children under 3.
This is a shame, as the mix of graphic simplicity and innovative tactile format would have made both of these delightful additions to the board-book canon; as it is, they represent choke hazards to babies and toddlers, who would most benefit from them. (Board book. 3-4)