cover image MY WORLD OF COLOR


Margaret Wise Brown, , illus. by Loretta Krupinski. . Hyperion, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0605-8

Krupinski (who illustrated the posthumous Brown anthology Mouse of My Heart) treats brief rhymed verses about 11 colors to a series of lavish tableaux, creating a visual story line in which two mice—a painter and his apprentice—travel through a fantasy landscape to discover that the world is a palette of these hues. The featured color dominates each extravagantly detailed full-bleed spread. As Krupinski takes on orange, for example, she sets the text within a large orange sun; below, the mice paddle a teacup (white, but decorated with an orange motif) in water where fish jump and bumblebees balance on floating oranges that have fallen from nearby trees. Her work offers a panoply of pleasing scenarios. For purple, the mice encounter a dapperly dressed Easter Bunny in the process of painting a large egg that is starting to hatch; a single yellow eye, almost as big as the mice's heads, peers through the eggshell's widening crack. While the visuals demonstrate considerable polish, the writing is frequently rough ("purple as coal"; "Green as the green/ Of the greenest fern/ Any rabbit has seen"), at least compared with the finely honed works Brown saw into print. The author's fans may want to keep in mind her similarly themed The Color Kittens (1949), illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen and recently reissued. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)