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.  

For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books!

Categories: Writing

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31 Comments

  1. *happy sigh* I love this book and I have not even read it yet. Gotta go on the list. I have a long list too. This book sounds so refreshing. *wishing I’d thought of this idea* 🙂

  2. Oh, this sounds like a lovely book. I need to read this one!!

  3. Love this book. George has a great knack for capturing the hearts and minds of little kids.

  4. Eagerly awaiting for a copy I reserved at our library… can’t wait to read it. Who knew that blueberries aren’t really blue?

  5. I love this, Julie!

    A cousin of ours is having her first baby and I wasn’t able to make the Baby Book Shower, but have been thinking about the perfect gift.

    I’ve just found the children’s book I was looking for!

    Thanks!

  6. That sounds adorable Julie. I bet my son would like that. In contrast Pete the Cat arrived today. That’s a colour one too.

  7. What a darling book! I love that it gets the kids to thinking out of the box!! Wonderful!

  8. Sounds lovely! Such a great point about connecting children with colors in nature, Julie. And any comparison with Georgia O’Keiffe says gorgeous!

  9. Wow, what a great concept and a great way to show kids to see more than what is there. I love your car game idea!

    (unrelated P.S.: Sent you a tweet about an email I sent 1/20. Please let me know if you received it. Thanks!)

  10. Sounds like fun. I wish my library carried that one, too!

  11. I love that bear eating blueberries on the cover. So why is white for blueberries? I wanna know! I love books that get kids predicting. I am glad you shared one by George Shannon.

  12. Love the title! Great twist right from the start. Will be on my way to check it out. Thanks for bringing it to out attention, Julie!

  13. Very neat concept for a book! Thanks for the review Julie

  14. Your posts make me yearn for a little one to read to! I’ve been making notes of the books so when I have grandchildren (hey, a mom can dream, can’t she?), I will have amazing books to read to them. Love your reviews!

  15. Fabulous review! Wonderful book!

  16. What a fantastic sounding book, Julie! And thank you for sharing one from our feature author. Perfect!

  17. What a fun concept! My kids always love books that allow them to participate and make predictions.

    Another one to add to list…Thanks, Julie! 🙂

  18. I just put this on my library list. It sounds wonderful. I love that you did a book by the 12 x 12 featured author. He had such wonderful advice for all of us.

  19. How delightful! I can just see my early learners responding to these surprise filled pages!

  20. Great idea to chose a George Shannon book after the great thoughts he provided the other day.

  21. Very unique book Julie. I enjyed reading your review. It sounds like kids really enjoy guessing what comes next. Love this concept. Lots of surprises. Great share.

  22. I like to see my son’s reaction with books like this too. We’ll add this to our library list, which is filled with PPBF selection.

  23. This sounds like a great book and how fun to have one of George’s as your pick this week!

  24. Elizabeth McBride

    What a marvelous idea! I can’t wait to see this book! Thank you for the great post from George and for the great book discussion. This has been a wonderful experience already. Thank you Julie,

    Elizabeth McBride

  25. So funny, Julie…when I read the first words I said to myself…no…blue is for blueberry. 🙂 And then I read on. 😉

    What a perfect book for young children…encouraging them to observe, think and predict! And the illustrations sound amazing. – sigh – yet another book I will have to put on the “I want this book, please” list.

    Great review of a great book, Julie…thank you for bringing it to PPBF!

  26. This looks like a great book for my grandson, one to make him pause and think. It had me wondering until I realized the angle. Of course blueberries and white! Only one does not want to eat them then, hard and sour. But when blue .. oh yum!
    Thanks, Julie, for the way you are tying things together already. I hope you end up with a book through all this … one that gets picked up right away so we can all enjoy it. 🙂

  27. What a brilliant idea! I’m adding this to my list and I will have a lot of fun playing your activity with my boys, it will be fun even with my oldest 🙂

  28. Cool book! It really makes you think differently!

  29. Julie, I can’t tell you how many times I have passed up this book-now I can’t wait to take it off the shelf and read it with my students. What a find! Thank you 🙂

  30. Here I am, only three day late 🙂 What a wonderful book this looks like! I love the challenge of thinking beyond the obvious – something that as writers we should all challenge ourselves to do every day, and a great exercise for kids too! Thanks so much for adding this book to our list!

  31. they say your book has to be unique to grab the editor’s attention. It sounds like this book fits the bill. Thanks for the review.

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