cover image Pomelo’s Opposites

Pomelo’s Opposites

Ramona Badescu, trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-59270-132-2

Pomelo the pink elephant’s third book shares the tiny format and determined eccentricity of 2012’s Pomelo Explores Color. Title aside, the dozens upon dozens of contrasting pairings aren’t always opposites: “something” (a teapot) appears beside “whatever” (Pomelo in a teapot costume), and a recurring snail (labeled “gastropod”) appears beside a green “cucurbit.” Yet amid the whimsy and subdued emotion of the book’s garden scenes, it’s hard to quibble. A conventional carrot is “ordinary,” while one resembling a car is, by all accounts, “extraordinary.” And the “question” suggested when Pomelo offers a flower to a frog with come-hither eyelashes gets a clear “answer” when the frog hops away. Less a study of true opposites than an invitation to open minds and imaginations. Ages 3–up. (Aug.)