Saturday, April 14, 2012

GREEN by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (**gush alert**)

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Roaring Brook Press, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

If it's by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, I know I'm going to be surprised and amazed. This book takes surprise and amazement to a whole new level.

GREEN is an homage to the color green, to all of its shades and hues. Each spread is a painting that goes with the text, and each page has one or more cut-outs that include color from the next spread. The text seems to be a simple rhyming list, but as one who has worked really hard on the endings of my poems, I so admire the fact that her text is far from "simple" and her ending...perfect.

I read GREEN the first time for the language, barely noticing Seeger's signature cut-outs. I got to the end and said (aloud, to myself, in the still-sleeping house), "Wow."

Then I read it again and noticed the cut-outs. How the art in THIS page links magically to the art in the NEXT page. One page turn that makes me absolutely shake my head in wonder: The cut-out that describes the green of the jungle where the tiger is hiding says "Jungle" beside the text "green," but when you turn the page, the word "Jungle" disappears into the background of the salamander and the word "khaki" appears in the cut-out...wait a minute...that means the word khaki was hiding somewhere back in the tiger picture!!!

I read it a third time with my fingers. Finding every cut-out. Exploring what the exposed color means in this picture, turning the page and exploring what the color means in the next picture, and going back again.

This book is astonishingly, amazingly, delightfully BEAUTIFUL in every way.

I hesitate to even give you a link to the book trailer. It shows you the WHOLE book. I want you to hold the book in your hands and experience the surprises in the tactile way that only the real live book provides. But if you's here.


  1. Mary Lee,
    You make me want to read this book right now! It sounds inviting. Like you, I've been pondering endings so I now want to know how it ends. I'm going to avoid the trailer until I read the book. Putting it on the top of my list.


  2. That book trailer almost made me cry. What a gorgeous surprising and amazing book. Thank you, Mary Lee! a.

  3. wow, can't wait to read this one. Love your gush alert! Long ago Arnold Adoff did a poetry book titled Green - it would be interesting to use the two in tandem. I realize they are extremely different books!

  4. One question: Why do your blog posts always make my book cart grow? Answer: because you write the BEST reviews in the world! Thanks friend!!

  5. I can't believe my eyes, I just fingered through this book at the library not two hours ago! It is beautiful and I am so glad you featured it here today.

  6. Beth just handed me this book when I was at CTC last week. It is incredibly gorgeous, so I can totally relate to your gushing. But I didn't buy it, and now I could kick myself for not doing more than one reading of it. I missed many of the things you have pointed out. Thanks for the heads up. Gushing is well deserved.

  7. Thanks for this post, it led to my post for tomorrow - I hope you catch it!


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