The New York Times
…ostensibly a book about colors for young children. Of course there are already plenty of those, but this one is so much more…It makes the reader, of whatever age, want to see color the way Pomelo does, for the first time or from a fresh angle. There is humor…And there are unexpected emotional moments…even when depicting shelled slugs, Benjamin Chaud's resplendent illustrations make you want to hug the pages of this…book. This is a book to dive into, to hold, to gaze at…a book that's worth a secondand a third, and a fourthlook.
In this small-format companion to Pomelo Begins to Grow, the eponymous pink elephant with a longer-than-average trunk investigates the subtleties of different shades of the same color. The “melancholy orange of autumn” causes Pomelo to gaze wistfully at a falling leaf, while “the true orange of an orange” is an ode to 1960s/1970s décor, with Pomelo enjoying orange juice in an Eero Aarnio ball chair atop a shag carpet. Some visual elements repeat: ripening strawberries are a “promising red” early on, but one that’s gone bad represents “the deflating gray of disappointment.” As if expertly parsing the unexpected emotions that colors evoke wasn’t enough, each one of Chaud’s understated and surreal vignettes could spawn a story of its own. Ages 3�up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
"In this small-format companion to Pomelo Begins to Grown, the eponymous pink elephant with a longer-than-average trunk investigates the subtleties of different shades of color. [...] As if expertly parsing the unexpected emotions that colors evoke wasn't enough, each one of Chaud's understated and surreal vignettes could spawn a story of its own. Ages 3-up."
"An unusual look at colors provides something for preschoolers and something more for older kids. [...] Badescu places all the whites in a row, then the yellows, then the oranges, creating a calm neatness that holds things steady while the color examples bounce between conventional and complex. [...] Chaud's art is sweet, offbeat and eye-catching...." -- Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Jennifer Greene
Pomelo is a tiny elephant, as round, sweet, and perfectly pink as the fruit that shares his name. In this, his second adventure in English, Pomelo explores different shades and variations of twelve colors, teaching children how color can enrich our understanding and appreciation of the world. As children turn the page they are presented with a short description of a color and a charming picture of Pomelo that illustrates the statement. This concise format works better than the more traditional and longer narration found in the earlier Pomelo Begins to Grow, as it lets the imaginative words and fantastical illustrations truly shine. In fact, the concept is deceptively simple and sure to spark unexpected delight and contemplation. The color descriptions rely heavily upon synesthesia, where the sense of sight is combined with another sense in its perception (for example, the acidic yellow of lemon combines the senses of sight and taste). Many of these combinations teach children common color associations, such as the explosive red of anger; and others teach children how to use colors as clues to interpreting our surroundings, like with the promising red of ripening strawberries. Other statements are surprising, interesting, yet strangely apt, as with the puzzling purple of eggplant or the comforting white of Pomelo's favorite dandelion. The translation is also well done, as the vocabulary is interesting and the descriptive imagery is varied. This book, with witty and adorable illustrations featuring Pomelo in his very own dream-like setting, is simply endearing. Children and adults of any age are sure to fall madly in love with Pomelo and his multicolored world.
School Library Journal
Gr 1�3—Pomelo is diminutive in stature, long in the nose, and the color of bubble gum. Here, he explores a surprising variety of colors. The text contains moments of brilliance in which color and emotion unite, as in the "explosive red of anger" or the "deflating gray of disappointment." Other comparisons, like the "mustard-yellow pang that goes up the nose" or the "speeding orange of shredded carrots," are somewhat obtuse. And the "always different yellow of wee-wee," while true, may strike readers as an odd choice. Chaud's use of perspective, expression, and color will entice readers to explore each page, but this book may be too peculiar to have mass appeal. Purchase where picture books about art and color are popular or for fans of Pomelo Begins to Grow (Enchanted Lion, 2011).—Jenna Boles, Washington-Centerville Public Library, OH
An unusual look at colors provides something for preschoolers and something more for older kids. Pomelo, a tiny elephant, initially appears integrated into a black-and-white checkerboard, his body black where the squares are white and vice versa. Wanting more, he becomes pink and "rediscovers" color in his garden environment. One sentence carries the text through 120 pages in this small, square volume, but that sentence never stretches thin. Each spread showcases an example of a single hue. Badescu places all the whites in a row, then the yellows, then the oranges, creating a calm neatness that holds things steady while the color examples bounce between conventional and complex. From familiar ("the glowing yellow of fireflies") to surprising ("the happy gray of rain"), from abstract ("the gray of things you can't quite remember") to concrete ("the green-gray of rot"), the sensibility's always whimsical. A subtle philosophical arc charts how "the promising red of ripening strawberries" becomes "the mysterious blue of dreams"--Pomelo dreams, in blue, of future strawberries--and then "the deflating gray of disappointment" as the fruit, crushingly, turns gray on the plant. Chaud's art is sweet, offbeat and eye-catching, even when oranges and carrots are darker than real life. While preschoolers dip in and out for fun, older kids could use these inventively expanded color definitions as inspiration in an art or English classroom. (Picture book. 3-13)