Kermit’s green is a color that surrounds us here in North Florida so you would think it is hard to miss. But guess what – don’t we all experience how that which is familiar, can become less special?
But, Ho! Visitors from the parched West arrive. And they play in our nature’s backyard. And so we play, too. And it’s like feeling the world anew with the sensory overload of a healthy toddler.
“Green! It’s so green here,” they marvel, these green-seeking, water-wanting folks. And they are right, thank them. Through their eyes my hubby & I see our gorgeous green world, again. And in celebration, I’m sharing the color green from three poets writing for children.
THE GREAT BIG GREEN by Peggy Gifford, with illustrations from my friend Lisa Desimini, is the newest book.
“The thing is,
the thing is green.
And the green is,
the green is green.
And by green I mean
c. 2014 Peggy Gifford
c. Lisa Desimini and Peggy Gifford
I like the way Peggy dips into the hues and presents tints of greens not always covered in books about colors for children. The surprise riddle that runs through this picture book is fun to test whether you & the kiddos can solve this one. I think you will!
Lisa provides a note about the scanning of her own skin, photos & other materials for the mixed media collages, including green marble from the Emerald Isle, Ireland.
The spectrum of inventive green art & word imagery of THE GREAT BIG GREEN make this a mighty fine addition to any colorful bookshelf for young readers.
WELCOME TO THE GREEN HOUSE by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Laura Regan is the first book about the tropical rainforest (as opposed to our U.S. Pacific NW rainforest) that our family spent time with when our college age daughter was a toddler. It’s a challenge to pick just a few lines to share but here goes:
“…where the slow, green-coated sloth
and the quick-fingered capuchin
make their slow-quick ways
from room to room
in the green house,
in the dark green,
ever-new green house.”
c.1993 Jane Yolen
My signed copy is on the To Mail shelf, as it was won just this week, here.
But the claimant didn’t have a chance yet to come forward with a postal address so if that continues, I may become fortunate & move it back to my permanent poetry pile.
c. Jane Yolen and Laura Regan
HAILSTONES & HALIBUT BONES by Mary O’Neill with illustrations by John Wallner (Leonard Weisgard created art for the very first edition) is the standard against which I think about books on color for children. We received this modern classic (with a storylife of its own as a multimodal way of sharing color with sightless or low-vision children) as a family gift from writer/editor Susan Cerulean when my hubby & I were new to parenting. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate how this sophisticated yet accessible book would work wonders. It’s a book to have read to you, with your eyes closed, as each color is represented in a Mary O’Neill poem through the feeling it can create.
HAILSTONES & HALIBUT BONES is a deft, deep & delicious collection of poems about colors. I know I haven’t seen every childrens’ book on all the colors, but I’m guessing that if I did, HH&B would sill rank with as my personal best.
Here is Mary O’Neill on, “What is Green?”
“Green is the grass
And the leaves of trees
Green is the smell
Of a country breeze.
Green is lettuce
And sometimes the sea
When green is a feeling
You pronounce it N.V.
Green is a coolness
You get in the shade
Of the tall old woods
Where the moss is made.”
c. 1961 Mary O’Neill
c. Mary O’Neill and John Wallner
“Green Poetry” article citation: Bookseedstudio/Jan Godown Annino April 11, 2014
c. all rights reserved