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Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Great Big Green, written by Peggy Gifford and illustrated by Lisa Desimini. Boyds Mills Press, Publishers Group West. 2014. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"The thing is,
the thing is green.
And the green is,
the green is green.

And by green I mean

What a party for the color green, and the many places it can be found in our world!

Ms. Gifford fills her pages with lively and descriptive text that inspires Lisa Desimini to create intriguing and boldly colored artwork to show their young audience just exactly how much green there is to see and appreciate. The many things described will encourage children to think carefully about 'green' and where they might find it as well. She talks about socks and fruit, about lights and leaves. All the while, she is using the text to help solve a riddle about the 'great big green' ... and what that might be!

"Think rolling-waves-of-grain green
thick green vines
climbing high
green trees

mountains and mountains
of green"

 In an artist's note following the fresh text, Lisa Desimini describes her process:

"... I scanned my own paintings, papers, fabric, photos, and some other unusual materials. And then I used these scans to create mixed media collages."

That collage work is so perfectly created you will find yourself spending endless time poring over every single page, noticing something more each time you share it. Observant listeners will be delighted to find socks, balls, fish, frogs and many other objects as they take in all of the details.

 It takes all the way to the end of the book to discover just what Ms. Gifford has been leading us toward as we share the beauty to be found in green!

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