Carrot & Pea by Morag Hood (9780544868427, Amazon)
Lee is a pea and all of his friends are peas too. Except for Colin. Colin is a carrot. Colin is very different from the peas. He’s not the same green color. He doesn’t roll around like they do. He can’t really bounce and he can’t play hide-and-seek. But Colin is good at other things. He can be a slide for the peas to roll down. He can serve as a tower or a bridge. It’s because he is different that Lee loves him and so do all the other peas.
Hood takes a look at differences here in her very simple prose and while she points them out there is no sense at any time that Colin the carrot is misunderstood or left out. Instead the differences are pointed out and then embraced by the entire group. This ends up being a celebration of our differences and a look at how by being unique people provide new ideas for their community.
The illustrations are collaged out of plastic grocery bags. They have a wonderful texture to them that is very similar to crepe paper and their vibrant color adds to the appeal. The rows and rows of peas look out from the page, sometimes expressionless and other times very playful.
Great for even the littlest of children, this simple book on differences is as delicious as peas and carrots. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.
Three Little Peas by Marine Rivoal
Two little peas jump down from their pea plant to get some air. They head out on an adventure across the garden. They visit a cat, some snails, and even try out how it feels to be a flower or a different kind of plant. They go high and low, exploring together. But when they reach a frightening part of the garden filled with insects and animals, they try to run away. Then they find a safe place in the warm soil where they hide. Only to become a large pea plant of their own the next spring, and then one little pea jumps free, making it three little peas.
The story here is simple enough for a toddler to enjoy and they will love going on an adventure along with two charming green peas. The peas pop in their green on the page where everything else is black and white. But oh my, what a black and white world it is! Rivoal does her art using etching and the effect is beautifully layered, almost crystalline forms. The illustrations show below ground as well with rocks and other objects hidden there. Even the blades of grass are lovely in the attention to detail and their grace.
Stunningly lovely and unique illustrations elevate this simple picture book to something magnificent. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion Books.
Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Color by Keith Baker
The peas return for their third book, this time focusing on colors. Peas play on each page, surrounded by a specific color that also shows up in huge letters across the double page spread. Told in rhyme, the colors are named and objects that are that color are named too. Young readers can find those objects on the page. Turn to the next and you get to see even more little green peas enjoying themselves with that color. Then on to the next. This colorful read has a great playfulness to it that will keep the youngest readers giggling as they learn their colors.
Baker knows just when his rhyme and structure have reached their limit and then turns it just slightly to make it fresh again. His little peas are doing all sorts of things on the page and part of the fun of the book is lingering and just seeing what is happening to each little pea. The illustrations are big and bold, the colors deep and strong. Yet the little peas and their detailed big fun make this a book best shared one on one.
A great pick for learning colors, children will enjoy the little peas on each page. Appropriate for ages 1-3.
Reviewed from library copy.