cover image Cat's Colors

Cat's Colors

Jane Cabrera. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2090-9

In her first book for children, British artist Cabrera covers almost every inch of space with thick, energetic paint strokes with the look of finger-painting. Her style exudes the joy of creation: the illustrations possess a tactile vitality and a just-ripped-from-the easel freshness, almost as if the vibrant colors have yet to dry. The story is like a guessing game: through a series of simple questions, the reader is asked to figure out which of 10 colors is the favorite of the hero, a bright-eyed orange kitten with dashing black stripes. ""Is it pink?"" reads a spread that finds the kitten peeping through a field of enormous flowers. ""Pink are the petals of my favorite flowers."" Cabrera seems to revel in putting her sassily rendered kitten through its paces--on other spreads, the cat perches in a black night aflutter with gleeful bats, leaps through a blue sky (""where I chase the birds""), lolls on a red rug in the company of a mouse. The book's playfulness extends to the typography (actually a mixture of type and calligraphy), which skips and tumbles on the page. A noteworthy entry in a crowded field of color-concept books. Ages 3-7. (May)