Elem. – Red

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Red. Neal Porter Books. 978-0-823-44712-1. 38 p. $18.99. Grades K-3. 

With just two words on each spread, the illustrations and the emotions they evoke take center-stage in this title about a young fox’s separation and ultimate reunion with his family. After becoming separated, the fox leaves the forest and explores nearby fields, roads, and farms. He also sees humans and their fences, wheelbarrows, nails, and trucks. He is eventually caught in a metal trap and displays some of the strongest emotions in the book. A young girl empathizes with the trapped animal, releasing him back into the wild where he eventually reunites with his family. Full-page illustrations featuring acrylic paint on canvas depict many shades of red in both the natural world and the man-made one. Each shade corresponds with something the young fox is exploring or experiencing. This title completes the trilogy that includes the Caldecott Honor book Green and the acclaimed Blue. An Author’s Note at the end describes the way these three books are linked as well as some of the inspiration behind the series. 

THOUGHTS: Students will feel the connection between color and emotions as they page through this title. The links between the emotions the fox experiences and the colors used to convey the world around him will spark discussions during morning meetings as students explore feelings like anger, fear, courage, joy, empathy, and love. 

Picture Book. Anne Bozievich, Southern York County SD

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