Green

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Green Book Poster Image
Clever color book expands idea of green in nature, at home.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Shows many shades of green in nature -- in plants, animals and in the food we eat. Builds awareness of the world around us in all its diverse glory. Could prompt kids to see how many different greens they can find at their house, in the backyard, the neighborhood, a nearby park ... Also teaches early readers simple words in big, bold type, such as "forest green" and "slow green" (a worm).

Positive messages

Implicit message is look around and open your mind to the many different, delightful, even surprising kinds of green there are in the world. 

Positive role models & representations

At the end of Green, a little boy plants a plant. Then on the next page, where the text says, "forever green," we see a man and a little girl looking up at a big leafy green tree. It seems the tree and the boy have both grown up, and the grown man is now sharing the wonder of green with his own kid.  

Violence & scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Laura Vaccaro Seeger's 2013 Caldecott Honor Book Green is a book about color for toddlers and early readers that's wildly imaginative and entertaining. Die-cut pages add an interactive element, as kids get a peek of what type of green awaits them when they turn the page. There's one not-scary tiger hiding in the jungle. 

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What's the story?

The world is full of many different kinds of green -- at home and in the wild. GREEN shows the actual -- limes, turtles, peas, lizards, ferns -- as well as the fanciful -- the \"wacky green\" of a green-striped zebra, \"no green\" of a snowy winter landscape, and \"never green\" of a red-and-white stop sign. Die-cut pages give readers a peek into the green to be discovered on the following page.

Is it any good?

Green goes way beyond the ordinary for a book to teach little ones about color. It's imaginative, even mind-bending at times, and the die-cut pages add an interactive level of experience, with readers able to guess -- or be surprised by -- what version of green comes next. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What kinds of green can you find in your house? Outside your house? 

  • Pick another color and see how many different versions of that color you can see. Try blue, and start by looking up on a sunny day. 

  • What other books that use just one color can you think of? How about Harold and the Purple Crayon

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