cover image LEMONS ARE NOT RED


Laura Vaccaro Seeger, . . Roaring Brook/ Porter, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-008-2

Having expertly explored letters in The Hidden Alphabet , Seeger now turns her attention to colors, again using die-cuts to great effect, neatly revealing objects with correct and incorrect hues. The book begins with the title statement (the line is reused with different objects and colors throughout) on a yellow spread; a die-cut opening in a lemon shape, on the right, allows the red hue below to show through. When readers turn the page, they discover that the red shade is part of an apple, while the die-cut lemon shape, now on the left, appears in its proper yellow, from the previous spread ("Lemons are yellow / Apples are red "). The heavy brushstrokes that Seeger applies to the backgrounds and objects add pleasingly tactile textures to the otherwise simple, cutout shapes. Other color pairs show a gray flamingo that turns its proper pink next to an elephant's profile, and blue grass (of the non-twangy variety) that becomes green next to a cloud-swept blue sky. After revealing the moon to be silver and the night to be black in the penultimate scene, the light of a die-cut window in a small country cottage goes dark as readers turn the page and the text bids them "Good night!" Vaccaro once more delivers a compositionally faultless primer. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)