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White Is for Blueberry

by George Shannon
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Published by Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2005
32 pages
ISBN: 0-06-029276-8

Ages 2-7

Podcast featuring this book

“Pink is for crow . . . White is for blueberry . . . Yellow is for pine tree . . .” George Shannon and Laura Dronzek’s inspired color concept book is like a playful guessing game that invites young readers and listeners to ponder one puzzling declaration after another. They don’t have to think about it too long, however. A simple turn of the page solves the mystery by finishing each statement, as in “White is for blueberry . . . when the blueberry is still too young to pick.” In an exemplary marriage of text and art, Shannon’s engaging ideas are enhanced and enriched by Laura Dronzek’s superb illustrations. Dronzek borders each statement’s introductory image, such as the plump purple-blue berry, with the color being introduced. With the turn-of-the-page reveal, her color-saturated illustrations extend to the edges of the pages, unveiling scenes that make the connection between color and object clear. In the case of the blueberry, she has painted a young bear cub in the midst of a thicket of green leaves and young, white, unripe berries. A story element emerges in the art as well, with an early image of hungry young baby crows referenced near the book’s end, when the babies are seen being fed. These and other details in the art and book design, such as the way the colors emphasized in the book are repeated on the striped endpapers, echo an idea suggested by the words: there are many surprises that the world can reveal—it’s all in how you look at it. Many children will love discovering their own unlikely connections. Together, Shannon and Dronzek have set the stage for that to happen, inviting children to notice details, and to use their observation skills and creativity to continue to see and express things in new ways long after the covers of this book have been closed. (MS) ©2005 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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