Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
The illustrations in Maya Christina Gonzalez's books are unmatched; her almond eyed character invites you to see the world through her wonder-filled eyes. Each page is full of images that are so inviting that the words often are an afterthought. The purpose of this book is to introduce colors that are all around us, it does that, beautifully. Brown feels like cool brown mud, green is a prickly cactus and red is an exhilarating swing in the backyard. By making these connections to their everyday experiences kids not only remember their colors but are more attentive to the colors of everything they experience. As an added treat this book is bilingual, so it is a delightful introduction to a second language. No doubt the illustrations make this book as enjoyable as it is but when your "reader" is barely able to speak the visual connection is what will make them lifelong lovers of books. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
PreS—This gorgeous adaptation of Gonzalez's picture book (Children's Book Press, 2007) is now available in a board-book format. Youngsters will meet curious and playful Maya and, through her vivacious dark eyes, will discover the colors in her world. Sentences are short and simple, yet poetic, placed at the bottom of each page, on a contrasting bold banner. Spanish text on the left and English text on the right, in black fonts, with the color names highlighted on the hue featured on each page, reinforce the concepts and provide elements for early discussions about Maya's exploration of her surroundings: the garden, the park, and the street. Gonzalez's full-color, realistic illustrations take on a surrealistic dimension on the last page as Maya flies up through the sky, flanked by the velvet blue of the night that falls and the sunset that makes the street look pink. A beautiful and much-needed edition, in a format that youngest patrons will enjoy.—Freda Mosquera, Broward County Library, Fort Lauderdale, FL
This adaptation utilizes a brilliant palette to convey a girl's lush landscape.
Evoking the hot desert sun, warm, festive hues glow as Maya reflects on the vivid colors outside and above her family home. The Latina child experiences vibrant garden blossoms and the touch of her loving father's hair. Bilingual phrasing places Spanish text on the left-hand page and the English translation on the right; the text is placed separately at the bottom of each page while visual design serves to bridge the two languages. Typography denotes the featured color. Full, yet spare, images contain a stirring lyricism. "The sunset turns my whole street pink." The child's tantalizing descriptions continually illustrate keen engagement. "Mud is squishy, cool, and brown. / ...Yellow pollen peeks at me." In a vivacious dance between fantasy and reality, she flies against billowing clouds, near the watchful moon and sun and under her parents' unobtrusive days.
More than a Crayola-rich concept, this exhilarating experience spills over in its sensuous perspective.(Board book. 18 mos.-3)