Emmeline at the Circus

IT'S ME, MARVA!: A Story About Colors and Optical Illusions

Marjorie Priceman, Author . Knopf $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-679-88993-9

A day in the life of a mixed-up inventor becomes an introduction to color combinations and tricks of the eye in this zany picture book. Priceman (Emmeline at the Circus) gives characteristic zing to the concept at hand, beginning with the book's dedication—to ROY G. BIV (the acronym for the colors of the rainbow). From there, inventor Marva's latest creation, the Ketch-o-matic, goes haywire and turns Marva's yellow hair orange. Thus begins a chain of events that finds Marva dashing around town with various hues of hair and trying to make sense of the strange tricks her eyes seem to be playing on her. Though slightly disjointed, Priceman's quick-paced text creates a clever context for demonstrating color blends ("Red [dye] + white [hair] = pink [hair]") and presenting optical illusions ("Stare at the necktie for 10 seconds. Are you getting sleepy? Now meow like a kitten... just kidding!"). A closing spread contains explanations of color mixing, afterimage, optical mixing and other "amazing discoveries." Throughout, Priceman's snappy, humorous touches ("Orange hair!" said Betty. "Very festive. Very Florida") and vibrant, kinetic artwork keep readers sailing through an optical wonderland. Ages 5-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 06/04/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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