The Happy Little Yellow Box
Happy Little Yellow Box
David A. Carter
ISBN 9781416940968
Little Simon/S&S, 2012.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: colors concepts david-carter happy-little-yellow-box opposites

The Happy Little Yellow Box
by David A. Carter

David A. Carter (One Red Dot) once again uses his outstanding skills as a writer, artist and paper engineer to teach opposites to the very young.

Carter introduces the star of this show tied with a neat ribbon: "Outside and inside/ the/ Happy Little Yellow Box." Tucked "inside" (as flaps to turn) are three nested boxes (red, blue and white), plus a little critter tucked into the smallest one. The text on each double-page spread begins with the pair of opposites, and ends with "Happy Little Yellow Box" (or "Boxes"). The hero stars as a helicopter for "High and low/ with the/ Happy Little Yellow Box." It lifts off as the child opens the page, and lands as the child moves onto the next page.

The author-artist makes abstract concepts such as "near and far" understandable, too. Children meet the yellow fellow in the window of a house that's up close, and the pull of a tab moves the Box farther down the road, to a seemingly smaller window. A mare and her colt move "in and out" of a yellow box on the back of a truck; youngsters "open and close" a golden door to a fire station. Carter's use of repetition reinforces the pairings in different contexts. His final "Large and small/ Happy Little Yellow Boxes" brings the book full circle, when a 3-D smiling yellow cube houses a smaller version inside. The genius of the book is how Carter pares down the opposites to their essentials.
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