I Am a Rainbow

Dolly Parton, Author, Heather Sheffield, Illustrator , illus. by Heather Sheffield. Putnam $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-24733-0

Parton's name appears in large sparkly letters on the jacket, a telling hint that little subtlety lies within. Playing on the premise that like the natural world, “each boy and girl/ Is made of colors too,” cartoon kids express their feelings as colors. Their singsong rhymes are largely forced: “When I'm tickled PINK,/ It means I'm feeling dandy./ Everything is great and/ As sweet as cotton candy.” The book sticks to traditional interpretations—an angry child sees red and a jealous one feels green. After concluding with a message about acting “through love” no matter how one is feeling, Parton offers a parting missive, noting that as a child she discovered how to see an uplifting rainbow every day: “all I had to do was reach up and pull that rainbow right out of the sky and place it in my heart.” Her metaphorical advice to “let that rainbow out of your heart and watch it jump back into the sky!” is both saccharine and puzzling. Sheffield's gaudy, digitally created graphics only amplify the performer's bouncy tenor, which approaches a grating pitch. Ages 3–5. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/04/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Paperback - 25 pages - 978-0-14-133010-5
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