• Happy birthday Fred Brenner (The Drinking Gourd), Maya Angelou (Life Doesn’t Frighten Me), Johanna Reiss (The Upstairs Room), Elizabeth Levy (My Life as a Fifth-Grade Comedian), and Joan Leslie Woodruff (The Shiloh Renewal).
  • It’s the birthdate of Glen Rounds (1906–2002), The Blind Colt, and Phoebe Gilman (1940–2002), The Balloon Tree.
  • Happy birthday Los Angeles, incorporated as city in 1850. Read Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block and City of Angels by Tracie Peterson and James Scott Bell.
  • It’s School Librarian Day. Read Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett A. Krosoczka.

April has been designated School Library Media Month and Gardening Month. Since both causes are dear to my heart, I set aside this day early in April to celebrate both so that the party can continue through the rest of April. I believe that school libraries, or media centers, have done more to help children in America love books than any other institution. For so many children the school library is the only place where they have easy access to books. If I could recommend one new title this spring for both school librarians and dedicated gardeners, it would be Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s fantastic new picture book Green.

I must admit that I go nuts every spring when the trees begin to develop lime green leaves. But until I picked up Green, I had never thought about how many different kinds of green can be found in the world. Seeger takes successive double-page spreads to explore this idea. Readers first encounter forest green, with only white type and a white bunny interrupting the deep dark color of the woods. Two cutouts on the page appear to be leaves, but when the page is turned they become fishes in a mass of sea green. The cutouts allow the book to become a guessing game and lead to the next shade of green. In a dramatic spread, a tiger with glowing eyes serves as the foil for a scene of jungle green. With one absolutely breathtaking scene after another, Seeger explores plants, animals, concepts (faded green), color theory, and shapes in a very accessible format. The book can lead to all kinds of discussions, depending on the interests of the adult or the child. For those interested in seeing the entire book, a book trailer can be viewed here.

With books like Lemons Are Not Red, First the Egg, and Black and White, in a few short years Laura Vaccaro Seeger has become the most exciting and versatile author-illustrator making books for readers ages two through five. Green presents this talented creator working at the top of her craft—with assurance and creativity.

In the final sequence a child plants a small shoot that will develop into a large tree, “forever green.” That is true for the book itself. I believe Green will be entertaining young children for decades to come.

Here’s a page from Green:

Originally posted April 4, 2012. Updated for 2015.

Tags: Ecology, Gardening, Nature, Spring
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Green
One year ago: The Enormous Egg


  1. Karen Boss says:

    What a great book! The simple words and the clever cutouts make for a fantastic experience in art, texture, and mystery. I read it through with an almost-4-year-old and she loved seeing what the cutouts would create on the next page! I’m unfamiliar with Seeger, so I look forward to seeking out her other books. This one will stay on my coffee table to lure in visiting kids and adults alike!

  2. G. Perry says:

    What a recommendation and great background story. I hope the author sees this review. I just ordered this from the library.

    The book trailer link for the Macmillan YouTube video is superb as well. Just delightful, and it shows the potential for media in this field.

  3. Anita says:

    Gordon: Yes, I think the Green video is quite unusual — and gives a sense of what can be done. I saw it first and had to get my hands on the book.

  4. Momo says:

    This is just magic… I have not seen the book but I too will order it. Spring is of course later in the year in Australia. I would be good to use this book with Hailstones and Hallibut bones which is my favourite poetry book about colours. “Green is the grass and the leaves on the trees green is the smell of a country breeze”.
    Thanks again for this and for the splendid link with perfect gentle music.

  5. Allison Cole says:

    This looks lovely! I just wrote about Dog and Bear for a paper, and this looks very different. I think it’s so interesting and admirable when illustrators are capable of producing such a range of beautiful works in varying styles.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you Anita!!

  7. Anita says:

    Laura — thank you for the book!

  8. Anita says:

    I am happy to report that Green just made the New York Times bestseller list! Any time this happens for a book of quality content, we all win.

  9. Cathy Ogren says:

    Green is a wonderful book. I heartily agree with the last comment in your post. This book has staying power!

  10. S.Matt Read says:

    Beautiful art and a very interesting and compelling progression.

  11. Cara says:

    This book is beautiful, but PLEASE look for her masterpiece Blue, published last year. My classes voted it as their top Caldecott choice and we were upset that it did not even place, but hopefully people will find and cherish the book anyway.

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