cover image All the Colors of the Earth

All the Colors of the Earth

Sheila Hamanaka. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11131-1

With her lyrical text and splendid oil paintings, Hamanaka ( The Journey ; Screen of Frogs ) offers a hymn to children everywhere, who are ``all the colors of the earth and sky and sea.'' Extraordinary, light-filled paintings accompany the single curving line of text on each page. A girl whose complexion is described as the ``crackling russets of fallen leaves'' turns a cartwheel in a sparkling autumnal scene. An Asian boy stares into the eyes of a lion, and both subjects are the color of the ``whispering golds of late summer grasses.'' Two bronze-haired boys play at the seashore, their skin the color of ``the tinkling pinks of tiny seashells by the rumbling sea.'' Hamanaka salutes the varieties of ``hair that flows like water'' and ``hair like bouncy baby lambs.'' She shows adults showering children with love that ``comes in cinnamon, walnut, and wheat,'' and ``amber and ivory and ginger and sweet.'' These joyful illustrations amply celebrate the richness and diversity of the world's ethnic heritages. All ages. (Aug.)