cover image Rosie and Crayon

Rosie and Crayon

Deborah Marcero. Peter Pauper, $16.99 (34p) ISBN 978-1-4413-2287-6

Rosie’s dog, Crayon, makes the whole world seem more vivid and beautiful, no matter the time of year. In springtime, “Crayon colored Rosie’s world with tickled greens and fluttering yellow,” writes Marcero (Ursa’s Light) as she shows the brown-skinned girl and her dog dancing among the butterflies in an idyllic seaside park. When Crayon dies “after a long and colorful life,” Rosie’s heart “zipped itself up,” and everything around her seems sad and drab. She turns a corner, emotionally speaking, when she joins the search for a missing black kitten named Inky; venturing outdoors reconnects her to the world and enables her to befriend Inky’s young owner. Marcero brings a buoyant, decorative aesthetic to her settings, and Crayon, who has the roly-poly body and triangular head of a terrier, is so adoring and adorable that his presence is genuinely missed. But when Rosie finds Inky, Marcero ties up her story’s emotional and metaphorical loose ends a little too neatly (“Rosie’s tears reflected all the colors that filled her world”), rather than fully trusting readers or the power of her own artwork. Ages 4–8. Agent: Danielle Smith, Lupine Grove Creative. (Jan.)