A young artist paints a blue horse running against a yellow sky, then continues to paint animals in amazing colors. There is a red crocodile, a yellow cow, a pink rabbit, and an orange elephant. The book speaks powerfully and simply to the spirit of creativity, the ability to change the world through art, and the right to express yourself. This becomes even more clear as the book ends with Carle’s own childhood experiences in Nazi Germany where he first saw the forbidden work of Franz Marc who painted Blue Rider. This is not a picture book biography, but rather a statement of support for all artists who see the world in unique ways.
Carle’s art is really the center of the book with the words just naming the color and animal. As I read it, I could see it being used very nicely in elementary art classes to encourage children to break away from the norm. In toddler story times, it could also be used to learn colors and animals perhaps even with some animal noises thrown in to add to the fun.
This is a book that will speak to many ages, adapt well to projects and conversation, or simply be used as a color and animal book. It is infinitely flexible, wonderfully expressive, and makes a powerful statement. Appropriate for ages 2-8.
Reviewed from copy received from Philomel Books.
You can also check out the auction of art by artists and celebrities that was inspired by this picture book.