cover image Colors


Rowan Barnes-Murphy. Ideals Publications, $3.95 (15pp) ISBN 978-0-8249-8530-1

Color-coordinated cats and multiplying mice usher in the Blackboard line of educational board books. Rather too busily, both books present their targeted concepts in terms of cartoon-style capers. In Colors , a frantic mouse runs a gauntlet of 11 cats who announce, ``We are going to paint that mouse,'' and ask, ``What color should we paint him?'' The felines then dip their brushes into paint as they ponder the possibilities, in the process identifying the primary colors and explaining how various combinations produce secondary colors. Although it's an intelligent variation on an overdone theme, the idea gets buried under a veritable riot of activity. Numbers presents another menaced mouse, this one struggling to keep its balance atop an orange as it tours a circus of mouse entertainers (two unicyclists, three trapeze artists and so on). In a finale that fails to reinforce the number concepts of the preceding spreads, our hero squeezes orange juice for himself and 15 of his pals. Ages 1-3. (Oct.)