Laura Vaccaro Seeger
ISBN 9781596433977
Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, 2012.
5 stars
Keywords: cycle-life environment green laura-vaccaro-seeger nature seasons

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

The simplicity on the surface of Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s (Dog and Bear) ode to the color green masks the planning and seamless execution of a series of intricately connected images.

She begins with a white rabbit in a thick grove of trees—“forest green”—and closes with a girl and her father admiring a majestic tree near a barn—“forever green.” Two leaves sprout from the tree on the right-hand edge of that first image of the forest; two leaves sprout from the tree in that last picture with the barn. In the forest spread, those two leaf shapes are holes cut out of the pages and filled in by a deep green patch that shows through on the following page, where a turtle swims in a pool of “sea green.” In the sea-green ocean, those leaf-shaped holes now outline a pair of fish. Seeger suggests that each piece of art tells its own story, but also that together they contribute to a larger narrative about nature.

She raises themes for conversation: the “never green” of a stop sign versus a “no green” winter landscape. Children know this snowy scene will be green before long. With the turn of a page, the full moon, looking like an extension of the snowman pictured, becomes a sun that shines on a boy planting a seedling. Could that boy have grown up to be the father with his daughter on the final page? Seeger gives us a meditation on nature’s gift for keeping us in the moment and its constancy through the ages.

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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