The Little Green Island with a Little Red House: A Book of Colors and Critters

Sharon Lovejoy, Author . Down East $9.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-89272-673-8

In this petite, rebus-style sketchbook inspired by her real red house in Maine, Lovejoy (Sunflower Houses ) records a rainbow-like menagerie of winsome animals and pretty plants, while encouraging readers to add to their color vocabulary words like "chartreuse" and "ochre." A typical passage occupies a spread and evokes both setting and character: "The little green island/ has a little scarlet newt/ who lives all alone/ in a little rubber boot." Lovejoy's diminutive but detailed watercolors emerge from the pages' white space, while the large, playful typography uses color shadings to emphasize key words ("green" and "scarlet") and occasionally shrinks just for fun ("little" and any word that identifies the subject of the paintings—"island," "newt," "boot"). Children who expect the author's string of observations to add up to a genuine story or even a punchline may be disappointed. But the sweet spot illustrations radiate plenty of charm and create a sense of this New England retreat. A reflective paper inset on the final spread lets readers imagine that they're gazing into a silvery tide pool. Ages 3-up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-60893-464-5
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