Friday, February 28, 2020

It's A Great, Big Colorful World & The Seedling That Didn't Want to Grow from Prestel Publishing

It's a Great, Big Colorful World by Tom Schamp 

ISBN: 9783791374246
Hardcover | Ages 2-5
My thoughts:  This is a different type of kiddie book. Obviously, it is a children's book and yet the adults guiding the reading and education of children will see much more tucked away within its pages.

True, there is a diversity of colors in the world in which we live. The sun is yellow, a rose is red, the sky is blue - except when it is grey. Lots of colors in this world.

The story, if one can actually call it a story, is that of a cat who awakes to a day that is so very grey. And a chameleon joins him as they traipse through the colorful world discovering just what is grey, what is black, what is pink, red, green, brown, etc.

But tucked away within the pages of jumbled images sketched randomly about the pages and colored with the color-of-the-day are statements that polarize into a very different world from that of a child.....

The cat pondering a grey world..... is told by the chameleon that the sky is always blue above the clouds.

"The truth is never black or white."

Respect for age..... "With time comes wisdom," "Respect my gray hair!"

"Religions tend to see the world in black and white." "We mustn't see things too black and white."

 "Ebony and Ivory live together in harmony." (i.e. a piano)

Just a lot of images, a lot of statements, some satire, some wisdom, some silliness. And then at the end after all these colors have paraded through the book they all come together to show how it all blended beautifully to become our beautiful, colorful world.

There are hours of pondering and laughter packed on these pages. And all in all a nice book. Not a highly educational book, not a story book in the true sense of the word, and truly a lot of nonsensical stuff. A good choice to bring home from the library to ponder and chuckle through.

Personally, I think this book while cute is quite over-the-heads of ages 2-5 as intended.

About the book: One winter morning, Otto the cat looks out the window and sighs, "Why is everything so gray today?" Luckily his friend Leon the chameleon is around to show him just how many colors there are in the world. In these exciting and funny spreads filled to the brim with brilliantly illustrated objects, Leon and Otto identify people, places, and things of every hue. On pages dedicated to infinite shades of a single color, Tom Schamp's brilliant drawings play with perspective and unexpected pairings. An enormous Bengal tiger lords over an orange-tinted world, while a giant blue whale dwarfs elephants, pairs of jeans, and police officers. Throughout, cleverly inserted puns and allusions will elicit plenty of laughs from parents and children alike. Parents will enjoy the numerous ways color is depicted and kids will spend hours looking for their friends Otto and Leon as they traverse the busy pages. Best of all, this delightful adventure comes to a perfect end when all the colors come together in one beautiful, joyful rainbow of fun.

The Seedling That Didn’t Want to Grow by Britta Teckentrup

ISBN: 9783791374291
Hardcover | Ages 3-7
My thoughts:  Love this book for the gentle way it "reads" to the soft watercolors of the illustrations. Love the potential of the seedling's growth process being likened to that of each developing at his or her own rate - some are early bloomers and some late comers.

The presentation of a seed's life cycle is gentle yet final in its beginning and its end. Yet the potential of being worth living is gently portrayed in the abundance of seeds the lone seedling produced. The stark reality of the life-cycle's winter and finality is beautifully portrayed in a whiteness, yet the air is filled with white "flakes" and you can ponder if that is snow in the air or is that future life compacted in the airborne seeds.

A story about a reluctant seedling packs a powerful message about the benefits of being different and having worth. Lovely.

About the book: It's early spring and below the earth's surface seeds are just starting to sprout. One by one they stretch through the dirt and towards the sun, extending their shoots and leaves and growing tall. All except for one seedling, who isn't quite ready.

Each page of this gentle but powerfully evocative book demonstrates how some of us are different. As most of the seeds transform into strong flowers, they block out the sun from the one left behind. But the little seedling persists, twisting and turning until, with the help of bird and insect friends, it finds its own place to grow and blossom. In the end, this little seed turns into a flower that's just as beautiful and healthy as all the others. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as "delicate, complex, extravagant, beautiful and strong," Teckentrup's inviting and softly colored illustrations provide the perfect backdrop for this moving tale about being unique while subtly teaching kids about the life cycle of plants.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary books to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and are freely given.

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