cover image No One Owns the Colors

No One Owns the Colors

Gianna Davy, illus. by Brenda Rodriguez. Collective Book Studio, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-951412-96-8

From butterscotch to “neon orange crush,” a virtual crayon-box of colors motivate the uneven rhymes in this cheery prompt to embrace the “colors we’re made of and colors we choose.” After initial text from Davy debunks color-related gender norms (“If pink is for girls,/ then it’s also for squirrels,/ because no one owns the colors”), a tan-skinned, dark-haired youth decides to model their style on nature: “If trees can be seen dressed in red,/ gold, and green,/ then I’ll wear chartreuse.” In Rodriguez’s art, vibrantly saturated flower- and butterfly-filled spreads depict children with varied abilities and skin tones playing outside, sitting around a campfire, parading in costume, and more. Natural motifs and images of animals, including a flamingo, frog, tiger, parrot, and peacock, support the book’s emphasis on the diversity found in nature (“All creatures on Earth are their own special shade./ Each fur tone and skin tone is uniquely made”). Throughout, singsong text takes a circular approach to celebrating Earth’s variety of hues, and images and words jointly pay tribute to the way the natural world and its many colors can unite. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)