Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book #147: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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How many different kinds of green can you name? Seeger begins with forest green, meanders through jungle green, zooms in on lime green, swims through sea green, and ends with an apple tree that is forever green. Seeger is not merely content to show youngsters different shades of green; she really explores and celebrates the wonderful world of green.

Each two page spread beautifully illustrates a different kind of green. Seeger’s painted illustrations are a feast for the eyes. The paint, thickly and liberally applied, creates a landscape of wonderful textures. Even though the printed images are in fact flat, I found myself compelled to run my hands over the pages time and time again. In addition, Seeger has cleverly incorporated cut-outs that give the reader a sneak peek of the next page. But the cut-outs are so integrated into the paintings that you may not even realize it was a cut-out until you turn the page. Each page stands as it's own work of art, while at the same time functioning as part of a unified whole.

Naturally, this book is perfect for a green themed storytime. Before you read the book, ask the kids to point out green objects in the room (you may want to plant some before the kids arrive). After you read the book, look again at the green objects in the room. Think about the different greens in the book. Can you describe the greens using one of Seeger’s descriptors? If not, how would you describe this particular green? If you want you can extend this activity by describing a different color. Follow up with some rhymes about the color green, such as Green Says Go!

Make your own green (or the color of your choice) book. Have each child choose a kind of green (from the book or one of their own) and then illustrate it. Or take a walk around the house, the yard, the park, the library, or the neighborhood and make a list of all the different kinds of green you find. If you have a kid-friendly camera, let them take pictures of each green and then you can create the book using those images. A third option is to use found objects, paper, yarn, etc. to create collages.


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