CriticasGrade 1-3–A butterfly, the lone black member of a uniformly yellow community, bewails his difference. He just wants to be like everyone else. The wisest butterfly tells him about the Yellow Country. If he can get there, surely, he too will become yellow. A sympathetic blackbird agrees to take him. On the long, arduous journey, the butterfly observes a world full of colors. Upon arriving in the Yellow Country, he and the black bird begin to turn yellow but leave before their color change is complete. Variegated, they return home together, now happy in their uniqueness. The full-page pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoon illustrations, featuring bug-eyed birds, animals, and insects, are bright and busy enough to engage young readers, but the story itself moves sluggishly, laboring under the weight of a style both saccharine and didactic. Cover appeal may move this off the bookstore shelves, but for any library or bookstore, it should be strictly a secondary purchase.
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Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, Tacoma, WA