cover image Animagicals: Colors

Animagicals: Colors

Carol Diggory Shields, Svjetlan Junakovic, Carol Diggory Shields. Chronicle Books, $9.95 (12pp) ISBN 978-1-929766-04-8

Newcomer Junakovic serves up an array of bold, perky paintings that are not always what they seem in this new series of rhyming riddle picture books. The paintings in these tall, thin paper-over-board volumes swirl with brush strokes so textured that the objects seem tactile. Each illustration accompanies one of Shields's (Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate; Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp) clever guessing-game ditties (""The very best color of all, I think,/ Is positively the color pink./ Pink is for parties and presents and bows,/ And pink's a...""). Then comes the nifty feature--the illustration folds out like a large flap and, presto-change-o, transforms into something else. For example, what is at first a curvy pink bow becomes the slender neck of a flamingo. The combinations in Music are less straightforward (an accordion turns into a caterpillar with a keyboard as a tail) and less clever. Still, the blend of whimsical creatures, fun-to-say verse and spiffy design will have young readers mastering early learning concepts and clamoring for more. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)