Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friendship, Color Blendship: Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin




And these weird amorphous guys seem to love to scribble and dribble color everywhere, filling pages with squiggles and wiggle waggles of color, with paints and markers and crayons. Not only do Blue and Red scribble their marks everywhere; Yellow even proceeds to nibble his yellow crayon to show what a yummy color it is.

The top-team, primary colors, Red, Blue, and Yellow Monsters, have a strong self-identity with their colors and proclaim it to the skies. Red shouts that his color roars and snores ....and much more.

But the junior varsity monsters, little, colorless gray Elmo-like blobs, are not so self-confident. They feel like nonentities, and they don't like it one bit! But when they complain, the primary monsters come up with a plan. Red and Yellow scribble their markers all over one small gray monster, and ...Voila! Orange Monster is born!

Not to be outdone, Green and Blue try the same tactic and.... behold! Before us now stands a proud Green Monster! And Red and Blue swallow their differences across the color wheel and blend to form Purple Monster. Wow!

What's not to like in Mike Austen's Monsters Love Colors, a joyous monster mash which teaches primary and secondary colors and touches on the tertiary hues, has lots of paint splashing and crayon scribbling and dancing, wiggling monsters, and ends with a rainbow of colors, the perfect friendship-blendship of the color fraternity! Although there are cleverer books that teach color identification (see Lois Ehlert's classics, Color Zoo and Color Farm)  this one is a kid magnet that reinforces the basics about the color wheel in a whimsical way. "Austin's squiggly, untamed swirls of crayon, pencil and ink and the high energy in his casual style (complete with silliness: "Hey! Don't eat your crayons, silly monster!") may coax even the bounciest little monsters to sit down for storytime--and run for the crayons and poster paper afterwards. Groovy!" quips Kirkus Reviews.

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