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Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

Joyce Sidman, Author, Pamela Zagarenski, Illustrator , illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. Houghton Mifflin $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-01494-4

Anthropomorphized colors take charge in this fanciful book in praise of the seasons, from the collaborators behind This Is Just to Say . An androgynous crowned youth, dressed ornately in triangular apparel, plays host as colors are woven into unrhymed poetry. In spring, pink is “hairless,/ featherless,/ the color of/ new/ things,” while in summer, the youth finds a companion whose headpiece is a cross between a crown and a cowboy hat (filled with fish, no less), and the two royal personages indulge in popcorn and lemonade on the dock of a bay. Fall strikes a more melancholy tone: “the wind feels black:/ star-spangled,/ full of secrets,” as an enormous whale blends into the nightscape. Broad swathes of color compose the seasonal palettes, juxtaposed with painstakingly precise designs. The effect is evocative of primitive antiques: fleur-de-lis, checkered print and scrawled calligraphy abound, creating an artful—if, at times, precious—display that works in tandem with the gentle musings of the imagistic verse. The regal elegance is sure to charm. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/16/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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