cover image Pomelo’s Opposites

Pomelo’s Opposites

Ramona Badescu, trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, illus. by Benjami

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.)