Green

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Author
Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59643-397-7
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Seeger's skill at creating simple yet wonderfully effective concept books, as well as her mastery of die-cuts that delight in unexpected and ingenious ways, are in full evidence in this salute to the color green. The gently rhymed verse consists entirely of two-word phrases and begins with a rundown of specific shades ("forest green/ sea green/ lime green/ pea green") before moving into more abstract directions. The turning point: "wacky green," paired with a portrait of a green-and-white zebra shown happily munching grass. Seeger paints thickly on a canvas backdrop that lends an appropriately organic feel, given the natural sources for many of the varieties of green. Throughout, die-cuts of various sizes, shapes, and quantities build surprising connections between adjoining spreads: the words khaki and jungle are hidden within the backgrounds of the other's spread, both made legible by the same rectangular window; a "slow green" inchworm becomes the hook on which hangs a "faded green" sign. There's even room for spreads about the absence of green (a stop sign is "never green"). Here's hoping subsequent color books from Seeger get the green light. Ages 2–6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
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