cover image What Am I?: Looking Through Shapes at Apples and Grapes

What Am I?: Looking Through Shapes at Apples and Grapes

N. N. Charles. Scholastic, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-47891-5

Colors, shapes and types of fruit share the agenda of this visually arresting volume, a riddle book with a social conscience. Facing a page displaying shades of a particular hue is a puzzle, e.g., ``I'm red, I'm round,/ I fall to the ground. What am I?'' Above the verse, a die-cut square (it is labeled) previews a mysterious red field that, with the turn of the page, is revealed as part of an an apple. The geometric die-cuts vary with each fruit, as do the colors. An ingenious, surprising detour ventures into deeper waters: ``In nature, there will always be/ a rainbow in the things you see./ In places here, and foreign lands,/ the rainbow can be seen in hands/ that make the world a better place-/ a rainbow of the human race.'' Pseudonymous author Charles's rhymes flow with easy grace, and the Dillons (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) illustrate with large-screen, Technicolor hyperrealism, gorgeous in its own right and supportive of the full curriculum at hand. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)