Review of Green on Green

Green on Green
by Dianne White; illus. by Felicita Sala
Preschool, Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp.    g
3/20    978-1-4814-6278-5    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6279-2    $10.99

Do we need another picture book about the seasons? When it’s this good, the answer is an emphatic yes. White’s text is written in eminently readable verse that employs repetition, spot-on cadence, slant rhymes grounded in assonance, and inventive word choices. Early lines about summertime are representative: “Lemonade petals. / Sunflakes between. / Lemonade, sunflakes, and yellow on green.” Meanwhile, Sala’s art provides all narrative content, interpreting the poetic text with lush illustrations that follow a family — a child and two parents (all dark-skinned and blue-eyed) — through the seasons in their rural coastal community. One marker of the passage of time is the mother’s growing belly. Another is Sala’s shifting palette to visually depict the changing seasons: green dominates early scenes set in spring; then summertime blue skies and ocean waters take hold; followed by warm autumnal golds and browns; then snowy winter whites. (Endpapers feature portraits of the same tree in four different seasons.) Green returns again in closing pages, which also introduce a new baby into the family. Cozy and calming, familiar and fresh, Green on Green is great.

From the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Megan Dowd Lambert
Megan Dowd Lambert

Megan Dowd Lambert is an instructor at Simmons University’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. For nearly ten years she also worked in the education department of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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