Review: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
By Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
The page turn – the way in which a picture book transitions from one page to the next – is something that lots of books ignore. Not the work of Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Every time out, Seeger’s page turns are carefully considered. And in the case of Seeger’s previous First the Egg and What If?, they are integral to the story. Add Green to this list. Dramatic, reflective, and playful, this is a concept book that works on multiple levels, and succeeds at all of them.
How many kinds of green are there? More than you might think. Each two-page spread reveals a new variation of the hue. Things begin fairly straightforward – forest green, sea green, lime green – but when a green-striped zebra shows up out of nowhere, you know to expect the unexpected. Things conclude on a quiet note (and come full circle) with a father and daughter enjoying the “forever green” of a tree.
The generous use of paint and visible brushstrokes makes the artwork appear nearly tactile. The use of die cuts add another level of interest and complexity. Readers will be anxious to spot the cut-out on each page and learn what it becomes in the following spread.
Although it debuted in the spring, this is a book for the whole year. Bound to be a “best of 2012” regular and contend for a Caldecott, Green is a page-turning success.
Review copy from the library
Watch the book trailer for Green (which takes you through the entire book):
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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