My Many Colored Days

My Many Colored Days

4.2 31
by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
     
 

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Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, was a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." The quest for an artist finally ended—after the

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Overview

Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, was a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." The quest for an artist finally ended—after the manuscript languished for more than two decades—at the paint brushes of husband-and-wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher whose stunning, expressive paintings reveal such striking images as a bright red horse kicking its heels, a cool and quiet green fish, a sad and lonely purple dinosaur, and an angrily howling black wolf. Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals, this unique book does for the range of human moods and emotions what Oh, the Places You'll Go! does for the human life cycle. Here is a wonderful way for parents to talk with children about their feelings. With Johnson and Fancher's atmospheric, large-scale paintings bursting off the pages, Dr. Seuss's vision is brought to life. This rare and beautiful book is bound to appeal to both the innocent young and the most sophisticated seniors.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The archives of many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is no exception: he wrote but did not illustrate this rhyme, which assigns colors to moods. The effort is pleasant but lightweight: "You'd be/ surprised/ how many ways/ I change/ on Different/ Colored/ Days," announces a child, portrayed as a flat, gingerbread-man shape of yellow, then blue, then purple. Spread by spread, the character metamorphoses into animals of varying hues, from an energetic red horse to a secretive green fish to a droopy violet brontosaur ("On Purple Days/ I'm sad./ I groan./ I drag my tail./ I walk alone"). Husband and wife Johnson and Fancher (Cat, You Better Come Home) do not mime the author's pen-and-ink creations but work in pasty, expressionistic brushstrokes and blocky typefaces that change with the narrative tone. The characteristically catchy Seussian rhyme could help turn a Gray Day into a "busy, buzzy" (Yellow) one, and the snazzy die-cut jacket gives this volume an immediate lift above the competition. But the pointed message of Oh, the Places You'll Go! and the genius of Seuss's early work go missing. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-An amusing look at how color affects children's lives and especially their behavior: red days are good for kicking up one's heels and blue ones for flapping one's wings. Purple days are sad, pink are happy, black are mad, and mixed up-watch out! There is an unevenness and unfinished quality to the text, as the patterned flow appears to be interrupted many times and the word choice gets lost in the rhyme. The artists obviously had fun with this book-an enormous gray owl watchfully peers out at readers, busy bees buzz across a yellow page, a cool fish glides in a green sea, a purple dinosaur sadly drags his tail, and pink leggy flamingos just don't think. Simplistic stylized illustrations, initially reminiscent of children's snow angels or gingerbread cookies, help to create the fantasy by letting the colors speak and have a memorable impact. In fact, they far outshine the words. Youngsters will want to talk about how they feel color, and even the unevenness of the text will not deter them-they will quickly set the book aside and get into their own ideas.-Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
My Many Colored Days ( PLB Sept. 1, 1996; 40 pp.; 0-679-87597-2; PLB 0-679-97597-7): Pairing emotions with colors is nothing new to poetry (e.g., Mary O'Neill's Hailstones and Halibut Bones), but pairing impressionistic full-color paintings to the text of Dr. Seuss is a first. His formerly unpublished manuscript becomes the basis for a simple color concept book; children will easily identify primary colors and enter into the feeling and mood depicted by the creature in every spread: "On Bright Red Days/how good it feels/to be a horse/and kick my heels!" Broad strokes of thick paint on canvas create basic forms with texture, sometimes dark and weighty, sometimes bold and breezy. Those who can set aside preconceived expectations—there is no butter-side-up Seuss here—will find that some of the spreads gracefully elevate poetry that often has feet but no wings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679875970
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
38,777
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile:
AD190L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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