Synopses & Reviews
A mind-bendingly clever farmyard romp
In this deceptively simple picture book, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman has created an irresistible character that springs to life and wreaks havoc in a farmyard with a pot of blue paint. The innocent chicken just wants to help, but things get worse and worse - and bluer and bluer - the more she tries. Playing with colors and perspective, and using minimal text, this richly layered story reveals new things to see and laugh about with each reading.
"Freedman's (Scribble) second outing recalls some of David Wiesner's work, opening with a painting of a painting: an unfinished picture of a barnyard lies on an illustrator's desk, three-dimensional tools and pots of ink scattered across its flat surface. Within the painting, chickens sleep in the coop until one plucky hen emerges from the picture plane, knocking over a pot of blue ink and flooding the barnyard. The rest of the animals, roused over several spreads into three-dimensional existence, glare at the chicken. 'Maybe the chicken can undo the blue?' She spills a jar of clean water across the page, which in a tour de force of painterly control washes the blue away, 'Except for the sky. The sky should stay blue on a morning so clear.' Because Freedman's main interest is in the tension between the two- and three-dimensional spaces, there's not much time to develop the animals as characters. But she works through the technical problems thoughtfully and skillfully, allowing children to both decipher the action and ponder its implications. Ages 3 5. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Deborah Freedman (www.deborahfreedman.net) lives in Hamden, Connecticut.