cover image Pink Is for Boys

Pink Is for Boys

Robb Pearlman, illus. by Eda Kaban. Running Press, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7624-6247-6

To whom does a color belong? Pearlman (Groundhog’s Day Off) invites readers to think about this question gender-agnostically. “Pink is for boys,” he writes. “And girls. And bows on fancy clothes.” A bow, of course, could be a snappy bow tie on a dress shirt, or a big bow on a party dress. Nine more colors follow, with the boy-and-girl order flipped each time (“Green is for girls. And boys.”) But except for an evocative acknowledgement that everyone owns the color orange in the form of “popsicles dribbling down sticky chins,” the narrative sags after the opening salvo against traditional binary thinking and opts for predictable pairings (yellow is for paper crowns, brown is for teddy bears, and boys and girls have access to both). Happily, Kaban’s (Old MacDonald Had a Truck) illustrations, resembling 1960s animation, create an inviting, kinetic world. Her characters are bundles of mischievous, untrammeled energy, with mouths wide open in expressions of infectious and very toothy joy, as if using their inside voices—or paying attention to any admonition from an adult—is the furthest thing from their minds. Ages 4–8.[em] (June) [/em]