Color Zoo - Lois Ehlert (1989)

                    (Caldecott Honor - 1990)

         We might have seen a zoo. And, we know what is a kaleidoscope. What if, we see the images of animals in a zoo, through a kaleidoscope? This is my thought, when I read this amazing book.

A Kaleidoscopic view of Zoo

        There are totally nine animals, but they are not just ordinary animals. They are formed by mixing up various shapes and colors. The cut-out of each shape is stacked over in the pages of the book. Each page forms an animal's face and turns into another animal's face, either by placing or by taking out (flipping page, actually) a cut-out shape.

      An inverted red triangle makes a fox face. A yellow triangle, above this, makes a mouse face. A blue circle, over this, makes a tiger face (The cover image). In this way, three animals are grouped and three shapes are used to make their faces. 

       Publisher : HarperCollins

       Classification : Educational (Shapes, Colors, Animals),

                          Skill (Activities)

       Age : Preschooler, Kindergartener, Grades 1 - 3

       ISBN 10 : 03973 22593

My Comment :

       To accept the truth, none of the words written about this book, can do justice to this mind-blowing book. With simple shapes and abstract designs of animals, the author has conceived a brilliant cut-out book.

           The book has very less text and a vast space has been to given to the designs. The transformation of animals into geometric patterns is fascinating (which is why the book is a Caldecott Honor book). Even as mere shapes, the animals retain their unique facial characteristics, which is a big challenge, successfully met by the author and illustrator.

          The last pages of this book contain grids of all the colors and shapes used in this book, which is useful to teach small kids.Though the colors, shapes and animals in this book are basic, my second grader son likes to flip through this book, because of the appealing creativity.

           Either it is home or classroom, this book can make a fun-filled and knowledge gaining reading time. Also, it can initiate various hands-on activities.

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