Review Detail

Color Kittens for the New Millenium
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Swatch is a little girl who can tame wild colors. She hunts them down and puts them in jam jars. It never occurs to her that this might not be what the colors want until she tries to capture Yellowest Yellow, and it politely declines her overtures. She is afraid that the wild yellow will be angry and possibly eat her, but instead, Yellow takes her on an adventure. She then decides that the other colors should join in, so she calls them out of their jars and together they make a masterpiece.
Good Points
This story didn't make a whole lot of sense, but then, neither did Margaret Wise Brown's The Color Kittens, which was always one of my favorites. There is a gentle message that wild things should not be tamed, and that it is, in fact, more fun to let them remain wild, but Swatch's jars of colors are so pretty that you can hardly blame her for collecting them.

The story is not really the point of this book. The exuberant pictures awash with bright colors are the reason to pick this book up. Swatch goes about her color taming while wearing the starkest black and white, and it would be fun to have young readers locate her in the panels while the book is being read to them. Denos combines line drawings with impressionistic brush strokes full of color in a charming way that are reminiscent of some of the later 1960s picture books.

Denos has an interesting artistic technique, and I can see this book being enjoyed by readers who like Eric Carle's tissue paper collages or who want a fun way to investigate colors and the way they make people feel.
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