Lemons Are Not Red

( 5 )

Overview

Lemons are not Red. Apples are red. Lemons are yellow. . . .

Clever cutouts in the pages make a simple, original, and utterly beguiling introduction to color.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, whose The Hidden Alphabet dazzled critics and readers alike, introduces young children to color in this unique concept book with die cuts. The opening spread features a big, bright red lemon and the simple text, "Lemons are not RED." When the spread is turned an ...

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Overview

Lemons are not Red. Apples are red. Lemons are yellow. . . .

Clever cutouts in the pages make a simple, original, and utterly beguiling introduction to color.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, whose The Hidden Alphabet dazzled critics and readers alike, introduces young children to color in this unique concept book with die cuts. The opening spread features a big, bright red lemon and the simple text, "Lemons are not RED." When the spread is turned an equally bright yellow lemon appears ("Lemons are YELLOW") across from a luscious red apple ("Apples are RED").

And so it goes, from carrots that are not purple through reindeer that are not white, et al. The book ends with "The moon is not BLACK / The moon is SILVER / The night is BLACK / Good night! And the reader sees a tranquil night landscape and a house with the lights turned out.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Thick lemon-yellow brushstrokes frame the image of a plump red ... lemon? "Lemons are not RED," explains the text. True enough, as a turn of the page reveals a lemon-shaped die-cut that converts the red lemon into a yellow one. Kids will adore righting the wrongs of carrots painted purple and flamingos gone gray. (Ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
Having expertly explored letters in The Hidden Alphabet, Seeger now turns her attention to colors, again using die-cuts to great effect, neatly revealing objects with correct and incorrect hues. The book begins with the title statement (the line is reused with different objects and colors throughout) on a yellow spread; a die-cut opening in a lemon shape, on the right, allows the red hue below to show through. When readers turn the page, they discover that the red shade is part of an apple, while the die-cut lemon shape, now on the left, appears in its proper yellow, from the previous spread ("Lemons are yellow/ Apples are red"). The heavy brushstrokes that Seeger applies to the backgrounds and objects add pleasingly tactile textures to the otherwise simple, cutout shapes. Other color pairs show a gray flamingo that turns its proper pink next to an elephant's profile, and blue grass (of the non-twangy variety) that becomes green next to a cloud-swept blue sky. After revealing the moon to be silver and the night to be black in the penultimate scene, the light of a die-cut window in a small country cottage goes dark as readers turn the page and the text bids them "Good night!" Vaccaro once more delivers a compositionally faultless primer. Ages 2-5. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
With the vast selection of children's books on the market today that focus on teaching kids their primary colors, it may seem hard to believe that anyone could come up with a fresh twist on such an old theme. That, however, is exactly what Laura Vaccaro Seeger has done. Following in the same tradition as her previous book, The Hidden Alphabet, this contribution has also been named an ALA Notable Book. This honor comes as no surprise as this delightful, wonderfully illustrated book is fun and engaging. Her use of color and artistic design includes paper cutouts of various objects to first show the reader what color objects are not (such as "lemons are not red") and then, with a turn of page, the color they actually are ("lemons are yellow"). Children will love having this book read to them, particularly at bedtime. Overall, it is a great book to give, and it is a must-have for any collection. 2004, Roaring Brook Press, Ages 2 to 5.
—Sheree Van Vreede
Kirkus Reviews
A few words, a handful of brilliant colors and a bewitching idea will enchant the youngest of book lovers and their resident grownups, as did Seeger's Hidden Alphabet (2003). "Lemons are not RED," proclaims the text, as emphatically as any three-year-old, except that the die-cut shape of a lemon on the page appears, quite clearly, to be red. But when the page is turned, and the text "Lemons are YELLOW" appears, the die-cut shape displays the proper, enticing yellow. The following page pronounces, "Apples are RED," and displays a shapely, luscious specimen. Carrots aren't purple, flamingoes aren't gray, and grass is not blue; each cut-out displays the wrong color and then rights itself. Seeger has done marvelous things with her brushwork, from impasto to shimmering smoothness, so that the color values are emphasized by texture. Clever, imaginative, and utterly beguiling. (Picture book. 3-7)
From the Publisher
Booklist

 

PreS-Gr. 2. This creatively designed volume combines an introduction to colors with a bedtime story. Cutouts of various items, such as a lemon, a carrot, and a flamingo, show through to the next page, revealing colors these objects are not. Simple, repetitive text provides the names of the items and colors: "Lemons are not red," "Carrots are not purple," and so on. When the page is turned, an object of the correct color is now revealed, for example, a bright-red apple. Backgrounds show textured brushstrokes of thick paint, which contrast nicely with the flat style of the cutouts. There's no cutout at the book's end, just an outlined slice of moon: "The moon is not black / The moon is silver / The night is black / Good night." 

 

Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

Having expertly explored letters in The Hidden Alphabet, Seeger now turns her attention to colors, again using die-cuts to great effect, neatly revealing objects with correct and incorrect hues. The book begins with the title statement (the line is reused with different objects and colors throughout) on a yellow spread; a die-cut opening in a lemon shape, on the right, allows the red hue below to show through. When readers turn the page, they discover that the red shade is part of an apple, while the die-cut lemon shape, now on the left, appears in its proper yellow, from the previous spread ("Lemons are yellow / Apples are red "). The heavy brushstrokes that Seeger applies to the backgrounds and objects add pleasingly tactile textures to the otherwise simple, cutout shapes. Other color pairs show a gray flamingo that turns its proper pink next to an elephant's profile, and blue grass (of the non-twangy variety) that becomes green next to a cloud-swept blue sky. After revealing the moon to be silver and the night to be black in the penultimate scene, the light of a die-cut window in a small country cottage goes dark as readers turn the page and the text bids them "Good night!" Vaccaro once more delivers a compositionally faultless primer. Ages 2-5.

 

School Library Journal

 

PreS–The creator of The Hidden Alphabet (Roaring Brook, 2003) offers another visual treat. The text is appropriately spare. The first spread reads, "Lemons are not/ RED." The word "RED" appears on a bright yellow page beneath the die-cut shape of a lemon with a red background showing through. When the page is turned, the die-cut shape falls on the correct yellow background, with the words "Lemons are YELLOW" underneath. The red background of the facing page is revealed to be an apple, with the phrase, "Apples are RED." This framework continues throughout the book, and children will quickly catch on and join in the visual game. The paired objects are related, which gives the text an internal consistency. However, the choices never become predictable, so a sense of surprise is always maintained. For example, Seeger couples reindeer with snowmen, flamingos with elephants, and the moon with the night sky. Illustrated with richly colored yet simple oil paintings, this offering will delight preschoolers.–

 

Horn Book

 

"Lemons are not RED" begins this simple concept book. But there, showing through a die-cut on the right-hand side of the spread, is a red lemon. What gives? As any three-year-old knows, the quickest attention-getter is to say the wrong thing—the silly thing—and let the child correct the adult. Sure enough, when the page turns, we see a big red apple on the right while the lemon-shaped hole now on the left reveals the proper yellow from the previous spread: "Lemons are YELLOW // Apples are RED." So it continues through carrots/eggplants, flamingos/elephants, and so on, ending with a silver moon ("Good night!"). Each shape is simple, and each wrong statement appears within a solid-color spread of the right color, providing a hint for those who are not quite sure. The heavy paper should stand up to multiple readings and pokings, though the flamingo and reindeer may find their necks folded or ripped in time. As with Seeger's previous books, the colors and textures are nearly edible.

 

Kirkus Reviews, (starred review):

 

..Seeger has done marvelous things with her brushwork, from impasto to shimmering smoothness...Clever, imaginative, and utterly beguiling.

2005 ALA Notable Book (American Library Association):

 

...Cleverly designed concept book uses brilliant colors and die-cuts...

 

Child Magazine Best Book of 2004: .

 

..Kids will adore righting the wrongs of carrots painted purple and flamingos gone gray...

 

New York Public Library Best Book for Giving and Sharing, 2004:

 

Artfully placed and shaped die-cuts lead toddlers into an interactive world of bright colors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596431959
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 384,011
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator and the recipient of a 2008 Caldecott Honor, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors for both 2009 and 2008, a 2007 New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, and the 2007 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book. Her books include First the Egg, The Hidden Alphabet, and Dog and Bear, among others.

 

Raised on Long Island, New York, Seeger began drawing at two years old and never stopped. For as long as she remembers, she wanted to write picture books. She received her B.F.A. degree at the School of Fine Art and Design at SUNY Purchase in Westchester, New York, and  then moved to Manhattan, where she worked as an animator, artist, and editor in the network television business.

 

Seeger lives in Rockville Centre, Long Island, with her husband, Chris, their two sons, Drew and Dylan, and their dog, Copper. She loves painting, surfing, tennis, playing the piano, and spending time with her family. She takes long walks at the beach every day and paints in her studio every night.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2012

    Great Book

    My 4 year old loves this and my 8 year old love this book. Even my 2 year old likes to call out the colors. I take all books out of the library, but when I find I am taking the same book out over and over, I purchase it--this is one is a keeper

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Another great title from Seeger

    This author's books are just wonderful. I first discovered her with The Hidden Alphabet and have since purchased each and every one of her books. I find it difficult to pick a favorite. I keep a set at home and one in the classroom where I teach 25 eager-to-learn-and-read first graders. This book is simply beautiful. The art is gorgeous and the text is simple and to the point. And I love the way Seeger looks at what's NOT red, blue, orange, etc. A fresh new spin on a very necessary concept.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    A true work of art

    I love this book at least as much as my children, ages 2 and 4!! It is clever and imaginative, fun and educational. And it's absolutely beautiful. When I read it with my children, we almost always end up rolling on the floor with laughter as we argue about what's not red, yellow, blue, etc. I am familiar with this author's work and have just ordered her newest books as I await their arrival with excited enthusiasm!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2007

    Nice book!

    simple, vibrant, nice - very well designed and very clever. My 2-year-old nephew really loves it! (Then again, he also likes to argue that lemons are red, but hey - he's having fun.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    Beautiful and educational!

    This book contains gorgeous artwork while also teaching kids their colors. The simple text makes is a perfect read aloud for a toddler who is learning his/her colors! I LOVE this book, and so does my son!!! If you want to help your child learn their colors, but also want to expose them to GREAT books, pick this one up along with the two I listed below!

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