Yellow & Pink

Yellow & Pink

4.5 2
by William Steig

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Steig's witty dialectic on the nature of existence.
As a yellow and a pink puppet bask in the sun, allowing their paint to dry, they try to determine where they came from. But as soon as they've settled on a solution, a strange man unsettles their theory.


Steig's witty dialectic on the nature of existence.
As a yellow and a pink puppet bask in the sun, allowing their paint to dry, they try to determine where they came from. But as soon as they've settled on a solution, a strange man unsettles their theory.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A pair of wooden puppets, one lean and yellow, the other pink and plump, contemplate existential questions in Yellow & Pink (1984) by William Steig. ("I can't help wondering... how we got to be here. It all seems new and strange. Who are we?") Steig's pen-and-inks, with occasional gray wash, are accented only with the titular tones. PW called it "a comic fable that has more clout than the most fervent homily." Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
As two freshly painted puppets dry in the sun, they wonder about their existence. "Do you happen to know what we're doing here?" asks the thin, yellow puppet of his fat, pink companion. "Someone must have made us," says Pink. "But how," Yellow asks, "could anyone make something like me, so intricate, so perfect?" Pink is certain that they were created by someone, but Yellow argues that they are a fluke, that over eons they just happened. Unconvinced, Pink asks several awkward questions. Why can they see and hear? How can the paint on their bodies be so neat and symmetrical—"with perfect edges, in just the right places?" In the end, Yellow concludes that "some things will have to remain a mystery. Maybe forever," and decides they don't need to argue on such a fine day. Just then a disheveled man ambles over, tucks the dry puppets under his arm and heads back to where he's come from. "Who is this guy?" Yellow whispers. Pink doesn't know, but one can imagine the discussion that will ensue between these two wooden philosophers. Illustrated with simple three-color drawings, this is a book that will delight adults as well as children and lead to some very interesting discussions! 2003 (orig.1984), Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
— Anita Barnes Lowen
From the Publisher

“In Yellow & Pink . . . Steig has created a pair of characters who seem the embodiments of his bright esthetic. Named for the colors of their freshly painted costumes, Pink and Yellow are wooden dolls left out to dry in the sun. They are odd fellows, bumpkins, incorrigibles, clowns, countrymen of Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon, Laurel and Hardy. Philosophers both, they no sooner ‘awaken,' come to life, than they begin to ponder by what means they might have arrived in this world. ‘How,' Yellow demands . . . ‘could anyone make something like me, so intricate, so perfect? Or, for that matter, like you.' . . . One marvels at the expressiveness, the nearness to animation, of Steig's vibrant drawings.” —Leonard S. Marcus, The Washington Post Book World

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
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File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Caldecott Medalist William Steig is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig’s work began appearing in The New Yorker, where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968. In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His books for children also include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos&Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing. Steig also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, beginning with About People in 1939, and including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, The Agony in the Kindergarten, and Our Miserable Life. He died in Boston at the age of 95.

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Yellow & Pink 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a library about 10 years ago. I think it is a clear statement that we are not here by accident, and instead were designed and made by Someone. Maybe I should have bought a copy sooner, since I can still recall it quite clearly although I only read it once. It is remarkable, and I intend to share it this time.