Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s ‘Green’: Picture book about natural world

It would be easy to miss the small, die-cut leaves hiding near the right-hand edge of “forest green,” the first double-page spread in this innovative concept book. Readers who have encountered Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s earlier works, however, will not be surprised to find that, when the page is turned, the leaves become two tiny fish in an underwater world: “sea green.” Bubbles float lazily up from a sea turtle’s mouth; turn the page again, and they become spots on the skin of a lime, its companion sliced open to reveal a glistening paler-green interior: “lime green.” From a spoon cradling a mound of vegetables (“pea green”) to the eyes of a tiger to tangles of leaves that spell out concealed words (“jungle green”), this book begs readers to stop and look, and then look again, discovering and delighting in the vast variety subsumed by a single word: green. In an era when the word has so many shades of meaning — from ecological to financial — it’s refreshing to realize that it also stands for such breathtaking visual variety: pale as the skin of an earthworm, deep as the shade under a summer tree. And those able to read the words aloud will discover a graceful tone poem that manages, quite neatly, to rhyme “khaki” with “wacky” and to turn “never” into “forever.”

Kristi Elle Jemtegaard

GREEN

By Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Roaring Brook. $16.99. Ages 3-6

”Green” by Laura Vacaro Seeger. (Roaring Brook Press)

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