This week’s choice is a book by our February featured author – George Shannon.
Written by George Shannon, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Greenwillow Books, March, 2005
Suitable for: Ages 3 & up
Themes/Topics: Colors, Nature, Art, Attention, Challenging Assumptions
Opening and brief synopsis: From School Library Journal: “If Georgia O’Keeffe had made a book for young children, it might have looked like this one. Close-ups of natural phenomenon in a vibrant palette combine with strategic pacing to undo the viewer’s preconceptions about color… The minimalist text appears in black ink, except for the words that name the colors; they are enlarged and color-coordinated. Thus, the opening page depicts a black crow, but the text reads, “Pink is for crow….” The page turn reveals a spread showing a nest of newborn birds and the conclusion: “…when it has just hatched from its egg.” The disconnect between the written hue and the initial object, combined with the elliptical construction, allows older children to guess and predict the outcomes and younger ones to be surprised.”
Activities: The best activity I can think of is to ask children to find their own examples of colors that occur in nature once you dig a little deeper. We came up with “Blue is for star” (as it twinkles in the sky) and “White is for Apple” (under its skin). This is a lot of fun and GREAT to do during drives.
Why I Like This Book: When I first read this book to my son, I loved how he was so surprised by the first sequence – Pink is for Crow. “Nooo,” he said. But then as we went along, he got more and more excited about the possibilities and began making his own predictions about why certain colors were used to describe things that didn’t seem to make sense at first – for example, “Orange is for sky.” He asks for this book over and over again, even though he knows them all by heart now.Writing